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Comparative analysis of autofocus functions in digital in-line phase-shifting holography

Fonseca, E. ; Fiadeiro, PF ; Sousa, M. ; Pinheiro, A.

Applied Optics Vol. 55, Nº 27, pp. 7663 - 7674, September, 2016.

ISSN (print): 2155-3165
ISSN (online): 1559-128X

Journal Impact Factor: 1,763 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1364/AO.55.007663

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Numerical reconstruction of digital holograms relies on a precise knowledge of the original object position. However, there are a number of relevant applications where this parameter is not known in advance and an efficient autofocusing method is required. This paper addresses the problem of finding optimal focusing methods for use in reconstruction of digital holograms of macroscopic amplitude and phase objects, using digital in-line phase-shifting holography in transmission mode. Fifteen autofocus measures, including spatial-, spectral-, and sparsity-based methods, were evaluated for both synthetic and experimental holograms. The Fresnel transform and the angular spectrum reconstruction methods were compared. Evaluation criteria included unimodality, accuracy, resolution, and computational cost. Autofocusing under angular spectrum propagation tends to per- form better with respect to accuracy and unimodality criteria. Phase objects are, generally, more difficult to focus than amplitude objects. The normalized variance, the standard correlation, and the Tenenbaum gradient are the most reliable spatial-based metrics, combining computational efficiency with good accuracy and resolution. A good trade-off between focus performance and computational cost was found for the Fresnelet sparsity method.