1. Interferometric system for complex image extraction

    The invention provides an interferometric system and method for quadrature detection of optical characteristics of a sample. The system includes a Mach-Zehnder interferometer providing a variable optical delay between light collected from the sample and reference light. The Mach-Zehnder interferometer has an output M.times.N coupler with N.gtoreq.3 output ports. Two differential detectors, each having two input ports coupled to a different two of the N output ports of the M.times.N coupler, produce first and second electrical signals having an interferometric phase shift. A processor is provided for computing real and imaginary parts of a ...
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