A phase derivative (PD) method is proposed for reconstruction of off-axis holograms. In this method, a phase distribution of the tested object wave constrained within 0 to pi radian is firstly worked out by a simple analytical formula; then it is corrected to its right range from –pi to pi according to the sign characteristics of its first-order derivative. A theoretical analysis indicates that this PD method is particularly suitable for reconstruction of slightly off-axis holograms because it only requires the spatial frequency of the reference beam larger than spatial frequency of the tested object wave in principle. In addition, because the PD method belongs to a pure local method with no need of any integral operation or phase shifting algorithm in process of the phase retrieval, it could have some advantages in reducing computer load and memory requirements to the image processing system. Some experimental results are given to demonstrate the feasibility of the method.
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