Laser Interference Fringe Tomography - A Novel 3D Imaging Microscopy Technique
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Laser interference fringe tomography (LIFT) is within the class of optical imaging devices designed for volumetric microscope applications. LIFT is a very simple and cost-effective three-dimensional imaging device which is able to reliably produce low-quality imagery. It measures the reflectivity as a function of depth within a sample and is capable of producing three-dimensional images from optically scattering surfaces. The first generation of this instrument is designed and prototyped for optical microscopy. With an imaging spot size of 42 μm and a 180 μm axial resolution kernel, LIFT is capable of producing one- and two- dimensional images of various samples up to 1.5 mm thickness. The prototype was built using commercial-off-the-shelf components and cost ~ $1,000. It is possible that with effort, this device can become a reliable, stable, low-quality volumetric imaging microscope to be readily available to the consumer market at a very affordable price. This document will present the optical design of LIFT along with the complete mathematical description of the instrument. The design trade-offs and choices of the instrument are discussed in detail and justified. The theoretical imaging capabilities of the instrument are tested and experimentally verified. Finally, some imaging results are presented and discussed.