KWIPPED Tip: Renting a Microscope

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renting a microscope

KWIPPED Tip: Renting a Microscope


Determine what type of microscope you need.

There are dozens of different types of microscopes. Microscopes can be categorized based on many different criteria. One method of categorization is based on how a microscope interacts with its sample to generate an image. Other possible categorizations include how they are used, cost, and industry. Chances are, you have an idea what microscope to rent. The following is a list of common microscopes categorized on how they generate an image based on their interaction with a sample.

Optical Microscopes

Optical microscopes are the most common type of microscope. They use visible light to produce imagery. The light then refracts with optical lenses. Some of the oldest microscopes are from the optical microscope family. Within the optical category, there are several other types of microscopes including compound microscopes and confocal laser scanning microscopes.

Compound Microscopes

Compound microscopes are capable of great magnification because they have two lenses for magnification. Like all optical microscopes, they use light to generate an image. The utmost useful magnification is up to 10,000x.

Dissecting Microscopes

The stereo, or dissecting microscope provides a 3D view of the specimen. Magnification is around 100x.

Confocal Laser Scanning

Confocal laser scanning microscopes are used in research facilities alongside a computer to generate data into 3D images. Instead of visible light, they use laser light to produce imagery. Unlike the compound and dissection microscopes, they have a digital computer motorized focusing component.

Electron Microscopes

A constant stream of electrons are beamed on to a sample for magnification. This type of microscope is one of the more advanced type of microscopes used today. They have powerful magnification, often up to 2 million times. The electrons beamed from the device causes a certain amount of disintegration to the sample. These types of microscopes are expensive and need someone familiar with the technology to operate.

Scanning Electron Microscopes

Scanning probe microscopes (SEMs) are used alongside a computer to visualize individual atoms by means of electron illumination. The image is produced by raster scanning—a focused beam of electrons that scans across the specimen. After the image is scanned, the image renders in black and white. A type of SEM is an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM).

Transmission Electron Microscopes

Transmission electron microscopes (TEM) pass electronics through a sample allowing you to see 2D view. This type of microscope has high resolution and magnification, but areexpensive to rent or purchase.

Scanning Acoustic Microscopes

Scanning acoustic microscopes (SAM) use sound waves to produce images.

Know the specifications you need.

Some important factors to consider when choosing a microscope to rent are the following:

  •  How many microscopes do you need to fit your job?
  • Do they need to be portable?
  • What accessories might you neeed?
  • What kind of specifications do you need? For example, magnification, resolution, and compatibility are all things to consider.

Common manufacturers:

Nikon, Seiler, Olympus, Zeiss, Labomed, Leica, Accuscope



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