Computational microscopy is a hot topic in optics, promising to revolutionize the image forming process by actively employing sophisticated computer algorithms. High-resolution microscopy has until recently been synonymous with expensive, heavy and bulky hardware. In the X-ray regime, the lack of high-quality objective lenses has during the last decade prompted the development of lens-less imaging, based on retrieving images from coherent diffraction patterns. In this project, we shall further develop Fourier Ptychography (FP), which is a coherent imaging method relying on synthesizing a high-bandwidth image from a series of low-bandwidth images. Reflection-mode FP microscopy in the visual optical range will established - including a smartphone compatible demonstrator. We further aim to construct the world's first X-ray FP microscope, which we hypothesize will prove superior to competing coherent X-ray diffractive imaging (CXDI) schemes in terms of high resolution and fast reliable operation, because of the robustness introduced by the physical objective lens. High-performance computing and artificial intelligence will be integral parts of these efforts. An exceptional team with internationally leading competence within the fields of X-ray physics, optics and high-performance computing has been assembled. The project is of high relevance to the upcoming X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs), but also to the advanced study of porous and other functional materials. An overarching theme in the project is quite literally to illuminate the subtle interplay between optical hardware and clever software with the aim of obtaining new fundamental insights as well as readily applicable new microscopy schemes - a topic with profound scientific and societal consequences.
Project leader: Dag Werner Breiby
Institution: Institutt for fysikk