Wave front engineering by means of diffractive optical elements, for applications in microscopy

Dan Cojoc*, Enrico Ferrari, Valeria Garbin, Stefano Cabrini, Alessandro Carpentiero, Mauro Prasciolu, Luca Businaro, Burchard Kaulich, Enzo Di Fabrizio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We present a unified view regarding the use of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) for microscopy applications a wide range of electromagnetic spectrum. The unified treatment is realized through the design and fabrication of DOE through which wave front beam shaping is obtained. In particular we show applications ranging from micromanipulation using optical tweezers to X-ray differential interference contrast (DIG) microscopy. We report some details on the design and physical implementation of diffractive elements that beside focusing perform also other optical functions: beam splitting, beam intensity and phase redistribution or mode conversion. Laser beam splitting is used for multiple trapping and independent manipulation of spherical micro beads and for direct trapping and manipulation of biological cells with non-spherical shapes. Another application is the Gauss to Laguerre-Gaussian mode conversion, which allows to trap and transfer orbital angular momentum of light to micro particles with high refractive index and to trap and manipulate low index particles. These experiments are performed in an inverted optical microscope coupled with an infrared laser beam and a spatial light modulator for DOEs implementation. High resolution optics, fabricated by means of e-beam lithography, are demonstrated to control the intensity and the phase of the sheared beams in X-ray DIG microscopy. DIG experiments with phase objects reveal a dramatic increase in image contrast compared to bright-field X-ray microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSeventh International Conference on Correlation Optics
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventSeventh International Conference on Correlation Optics - Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Duration: Sep 6 2005Sep 9 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSeventh International Conference on Correlation Optics


  • Diffractive optics
  • Optical trapping and manipulation
  • Phase contrast
  • Scanning microscopy
  • Wave front engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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