Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Kelvin H. Wagner

Second Advisor

Rafael Piestun

Third Advisor

Robert R McLeod


Traditional optical imaging systems rely on lenses and spatially-resolved detection to probe distinct locations on the object. We develop a novel computational approach to 2D and 3D imaging that instead measures the object's spatial Fourier transform using a single-element detector and without requiring precision optics. This wide-field technique can be used to image biological and synthetic structures in fluoresced or scattered light using coherent or broadband illumination. It employs dynamic structured illumination, acousto-optics, RF electronics, and tomographic algorithms to circumvent several trade-offs in conventional imaging, such as the dependence of the optical transfer function on the imaging lenses and the coupling of resolution and depth of field.

We use Fourier optics concepts to derive the dynamic optical transfer function, evaluate different Fourier sampling strategies, and investigate and compare tomographic algorithms for 2D and 3D image synthesis. We also develop conceptual and analytical models to describe imaging of fluorescent as well as amplitude and phase scattering objects, the effects of broadband and spatially-incoherent illumination, and nonlinear wide-field super-resolution imaging. We consider sources of noise, analyze and simulate SNR behavior for several types of noise and Fourier sampling strategies, and compare the sensitivity of the technique to conventional imaging. We describe several experimental proof-of-concept systems and present two-dimensional high-resolution tomographic image reconstructions in both scattered and fluoresced light demonstrating a thousandfold improvement in the depth of field compared to conventional lens-based microscopy. Finally, we explore approaches for high-speed Fourier sampling and propose several related sensing techniques, including wide-field fluorescence imaging in scattering media.