The development of a laser-based quantitative phase microscope with phase-shifting capability is reported. The proposed arrangement utilizes a suitably converging laser beam to illuminate the sample, a long working distance microscope objective, a wire grid polarizer to generate collinearly propagating and orthogonally polarized sample and reference beams, and polarizing devices for polarization phase shifting. Reorientation of a polarizer will revert the microscope back to a standard bright-field microscope that can be used for viewing the object under test.
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