Behind periodic amplitude or phase objects, the object transmittance is repeated at the so-called Talbot distances. In these planes perpendicular to the propagation direction, Talbot self-images are formed. In the case of plane wave illumination, the distances between the self-images are equally spaced. A periodic pattern called optical carpet or Talbot carpet is formed along the propagation direction. We show theoretically how the presence of spherical particles (10 to 100 μm in diameter) behind gratings of 20 and 50 μm period affects the formation of Talbot carpets and Talbot self-images at 633 nm illumination wavelength. The scattering of the particles is modeled by the Fresnel diffraction of its geometrical shadow. We analytically calculate the interference of the diffraction orders of rectangular and sinusoidal amplitude gratings disturbed by the presence of particles. To verify our model, we present measurements of Talbot carpets perturbed with both opaque disks and transparent spheres, and discuss the effects for various size parameters. We present an approach to simulate the movement of particles within the Talbot pattern in real time. We simulate and measure axial and lateral particle movements within a probe volume and evaluate the effect on the signal formation in a Talbot interferometric setup. We evaluate the best system parameters in terms of grating period and particle-detector-distance for a prospective measuring setup to determine characteristics of flowing suspensions, such as particle volume concentration or particle size distribution.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 2, 2011
Revised Manuscript: February 2, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: February 2, 2012
Published: March 30, 2012
Meike Hofmann, Ronald Kampmann, and Stefan Sinzinger, "Perturbed Talbot patterns for the measurement of low particle concentrations in fluids," Appl. Opt. 51, 1605-1615 (2012)