There is a long history of using angle sensors to measure wavefront. The best example is the Shack-Hartmann sensor. Compared to other methods of wavefront sensing, angle-based approach is more broadly used in industrial applications and scientific research. Its wide adoption is attributed to its fully integrated setup, robustness, and fast speed. However, there is a long-standing issue in its low spatial resolution, which is limited by the size of the angle sensor. Here we report a angle-based wavefront sensor to overcome this challenge. It uses ultra-compact angle sensor built from flat optics. It is directly integrated on focal plane array. This wavefront sensor inherits all the benefits of the angle-based method. Moreover, it improves the spatial sampling density by over two orders of magnitude. The drastically improved resolution allows angle-based sensors to be used for quantitative phase imaging, enabling capabilities such as video-frame recording of high-resolution surface topography.
Wavefront sensing is the simultaneous measurement of the amplitude and phase of an incoming optical field. Traditional wavefront sensors such as Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWFS) suffer from a fundamental tradeoff between spatial resolution and phase estimation and consequently can only achieve a resolution of a few thousand pixels. To break this tradeoff, we present a novel computational-imaging-based technique, namely, the Wavefront Imaging Sensor with High resolution (WISH). We replace the microlens array in SHWFS with a spatial light modulator (SLM) and use a computational phase-retrieval algorithm to recover the incident wavefront. This wavefront sensor can measure highly varying optical fields at more than 10-megapixel resolution with the fine phase estimation. To the best of our knowledge, this resolution is an order of magnitude higher than the current noninterferometric wavefront sensors. To demonstrate the capability of WISH, we present three applications, which cover a wide range of spatial scales. First, we produce the diffraction-limited reconstruction for long-distance imaging by combining WISH with a large-aperture, low-quality Fresnel lens. Second, we show the recovery of high-resolution images of objects that are obscured by scattering. Third, we show that WISH can be used as a microscope without an objective lens. Our study suggests more »
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