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[en] Optical schemes that enable imaging of the phase shift produced by an object have become popular in the x-ray region, where phase can be the dominant contrast mechanism. The propagation-based technique consists of recording the interference pattern produced by choosing one or several sample-to-detector distances. Pioneering studies, carried out making use of synchrotron radiation, demonstrated that this technique results in a dramatic increase of image contrast and detail visibility, allowing the detection of structures invisible with conventional techniques. An experimental and theoretical study of in-line hard x-ray phase-contrast imaging had been performed. The theoretical description of the technique is based on Fresnel diffraction. As an illustration of the potential of this quantitative imaging technique, high-resolution x-ray phase contrast images of simple objects will be presented.