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Opt Lett. 2009 Aug 15;34(16):2450-2.

Digital holographic microscopy investigation of second harmonic generated at a glass/air interface.

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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Advanced Photonics Laboratory, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Optical second-harmonic generation, thanks to its coherent nature, is a suitable signal for interferometric measurements such as digital holography, a well-established imaging technique that allows recovery of complex diffraction wave fields from which it is possible to extract both amplitude-contrast and quantitative phase images. Here, we report on a multifunctional form of microscopy, namely, second-harmonic generation digital holographic microscopy. As a proof of concept, we have investigated the second-harmonic signal generated at the glass/air interface of a microscope slide under focused femtosecond laser illumination, and we propose, for the first time to our knowledge, a representation and interpretation of the recovered phase. In this simple yet educative case study, we observe that the second harmonic is generated by the axial component of the incident field polarization.

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