- The phase correlation method is a well-known image alignment technique with broad applications in medical image processing, image stitching, and computer vision. This method relies on estimating the maximum of the phase-only correlation (POC) function, which is defined as the inverse Fourier transform of the normalized cross-spectrum between two images. The coordinates of the maximum correspond to the translation between the two images. One of the main drawbacks of this method, in its basic form, is that the location of the maximum can only be obtained with integer accuracy. In this paper, we propose a new technique to estimate the location with subpixel accuracy, by minimizing the magnitude of gradient of the POC function around a point near the maximum. We also present some experimental results where the proposed method shows an increased accuracy of at least one order of magnitude with respect to the base method. Finally, we illustrate the application of the proposed algorithm to the rigid registration of digital images. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.