How do you watermark a wavefront? Our group shows you how.


A technique for digital watermarking of smooth object wavefronts using digital random phase modulation and multiple-plane iterative phase retrieval is demonstrated experimentally. A complex-valued watermark is first encrypted using two random phase masks of known distributions before being superposed onto a set of host wavefront intensity patterns. Encryption scaling factor and depth of randomization of the masks are optimized such that the amplitude and phase watermarks are decrypted successfully and are not distorting the host wavefront. Given that the watermarked intensity patterns and the numerous decryption keys are available (i.e. distances between recording planes, light source wavelength, pixel size, random phase masks and their distances to the planes are all known), increasing the number of watermarked patterns used results in enhanced quality of decrypted watermarks. The main advantage of wavefront watermarking via the phase retrieval approach compared to the holographic approach is the avoidance of reference wave-induced aberration. Watermarking of wavefronts from lenses and unstained human cheek cells demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique.

Bibliographic entry:

J.P.L. Carpio and P.F. Almoro, “Wavefront watermarking of technical and biological samples using digital random phase modulation and phase retrieval,”Journ. of Mod. Opt. 61, 1381-1386 (2014). doi: 10.1080/09500340.2014.935507.

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