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Quantum enhanced non-interferometric quantitative phase imaging

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posted on 2023-05-03, 16:00 authored by Giuseppe Ortolano, Alberto Paniate, Pauline Boucher, Carmine Napoli, Sarika Soman, Silvania F. Pereira, Ivano Ruo Berchera, Marco Genovese
Quantum entanglement and squeezing have significantly improved phase estimation and imaging in interferometric settings beyond the classical limits. However, for a wide class of non-interferometric phase imaging/retrieval methods vastly used in the classical domain e.g., ptychography and diffractive imaging, a demonstration of quantum advantage is still missing. Here, we fill this gap by exploiting entanglement to enhance imaging of a pure phase object in a non-interferometric setting, only measuring the phase effect on the free-propagating field. This method, based on the so-called "transport of intensity equation", is quantitative since it provides the absolute value of the phase without prior knowledge of the object and operates in wide-field mode, so it does not need time-consuming raster scanning. Moreover, it does not require spatial and temporal coherence of the incident light. Besides a general improvement of the image quality at a fixed number of photons irradiated through the object, resulting in better discrimination of small details, we demonstrate a clear reduction of the uncertainty in the quantitative phase estimation. Although we provide an experimental demonstration of a specific scheme in the visible spectrum, this research also paves the way for applications at different wavelengths, e.g., X-ray imaging, where reducing the photon dose is of utmost importance.

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