Interferometry is the enabling technique in numerous measurement and imaging devices. For example, nearly all modern microscopes have built-in phase contrast (PhC) microscopy and differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy capabilities, both of which are based on interferometry and for decades has been indispensable in research and industry. In another example, optical surface profilers rely on interferometry to accurately map surface topography and have found wide application in inspecting semiconductor and optical components.
This invention provides a new method of interferometry that can be used to quantify the complex field of a sample with low cost, simple implementation, high speed and high sensitivity. The method is compatible with a wide variety of existing interferometers and requires minimal hardware modification, allowing for easy interfacing and upgrade. The method can also be integrated with mobile devices to generate a new category of portable imaging and sensing devices.