X-ray phase contrast imaging enables the measurement of the electron density of a sample with high sensitivity compared to the conventional absorption contrast. This is advantageous for the study of dose-sensitive samples, in particular, for biological and medical investigations. Recent developments relaxed the requirement for the beam coherence, such that conventional X-ray sources can be used for phase contrast imaging and thus clinical applications become possible. One of the prominent phase contrast imaging methods, Talbot-Lau grating interferometry, is limited by the manufacturing, alignment, and photon absorption of the analyzer grating, which is placed in the beam path in front of the detector. We propose an alternative improved method based on direct conversion charge integrating detectors, which enables a grating interferometer to be operated without an analyzer grating. Algorithms are introduced, which resolve interference fringes with a periodicity of 4.7 μm recorded with a 25 μm pitch Si microstrip detector (GOTTHARD). The feasibility of the proposed approach is demonstrated by an experiment at the TOMCAT beamline of the Swiss Light Source on a polyethylene sample.

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