Quantitative phase microscopies (QPMs) experienced a strong gain of interest this last decade, expecially for bioimaging applications. Mapping the phase of a light beam enables biologists to enhance the contrast of live cells in culture without invasive fluorescent labelling. It also enables the unprecedented capability of QPMs to accurately measure the biomass of live cells observed by optical microscopy. This capability, out of reach using fluorescence microscopy, yields an accurate control of the growth rate of cells in culture.
Quadriwave lateral shearing interferometry is a high-resolution wavefront sensing technique that has been used as a QPM for 10 years. It represents a simple, yet robust and accurate, QPM that has already been applied not only in biology, but also in nanophotonics for the first time, by the PI, to characterize objects such as nanoparticles, 2D materials and metasurfaces, expanding the range of application of QLSI.
However, like any other QPM technique, QLSI is based on the assumption that the imaged light field is scalar. While this assumption is fine for some applications, for others, it yields a loss of information because QPMs do not capture the whole information a beam can contain.
In the MultiPhase project, we wish to expand the capabilities of QLSI by developing an experimental methodology to retrieve the polarization information of the light field, in intensity and phase. The applicability of this new methodology will be tested and illustrated by conducting proof-of-concept experiments related to applications in nanophotonics and biomicroscopy. Finally, a software to pilot the system will be developed.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme