Different Types of Microscopes for Applications

If you are interested in the different types of microscopes and would like to find out which microscopes will work better and which microscope is better suited to your needs, and if you have any questions about these issues, then this article is perfect for you.

When you think of microscopes, the first thing that comes to your mind is the image of a standard compound microscope, but the truth is that there are very many types of microscopes and each one of them has different characteristics and is used in different fields. For example, if you need a microscope that is easy to carry around, then a compound microscope is definitely not in demand as it is difficult to transport. If you are equipping your lab with microscopes, then you will generally focus more on magnification and clarity, then portable microscopes are less clear than standard microscopes. This is why it is very important to understand the classification of microscopes. So that the next time if there is a need to buy microscopes will be able to accurately know which one they need. Depending on the performance of different microscopes, there will be a big difference in price. So whether you are looking for higher magnification or higher resolution, know that you need to pay more attention to the characteristics of the microscope you need.

Simple Microscopes

When it comes to microscopes, the simple microscope has to be mentioned. The microscope was invented in the 17th century by Antony van Leeuwenhoek, and it is this microscope that has led to the creation of so many of today’s microscope derivatives. He obtained a stable amplifier by combining a specimen holder with a convex lens assembly, a device with a magnification of 200-300 times, which he initially used to observe the different shapes of red blood cells and to observe other microscopic biological samples.

Nowadays the simple microscope is almost non-existent on the market, and there are more devices that can replace it to get the job done, because the introduction of another lens on top of the simple microscope led to the creation of the compound microscope, which is more powerful and complete.

Compound Microscope

The second microscope introduced next is naturally the compound microscope. The role of the first lens is to obtain the initial image, the compound microscope has a second lens, its role is to enlarge the image again on the basis of the first lens, to obtain a clearer image, so that the user can observe the more tiny samples.

Compound microscopes are mainly categorized into monocular microscopes and binocular microscopes.A bright field microscope is formed by placing a suitable lamp underneath the sample placement stage for illumination. If you are using it for observing cells, then this microscope can reach up to 1000x magnification, which can fulfill your need of observing single cells. Also compound microscopes are relatively inexpensive and are used for teaching physics and chemistry in schools, but they can also be used in research laboratories and other scenarios and can cope with a wide range of tasks.

Botanists usually use compound microscopes that can easily study plants, parasites, bacteria and other microorganisms. Medical laboratories can use compound microscopes to identify the structure of various drugs.

While these are the advantages of compound microscopes, compound microscopes tend to have a lower image resolution, which is the disadvantage of these microscopes, and compound microscopes are not suitable for projects that require high resolution.

Stereo Microscope

If you need to manipulate items under the microscope, such as hand engraving, checking electronic circuits, etc., the stereo microscope is a very good choice, which can help you observe a variety of objects up close and at the same time in the microscope to complete the operation, this kind of microscope is also known as anatomical equipment, the maximum magnification of up to 300 times. Although the magnification may not seem large, but for larger objects, there is no need to use slides, the use of stereo microscope is very effective, you can clearly observe the texture of the surface of the object, is widely used in medicine, biology, electronics, watches and crafts and other fields of work.

Confocal Microscope

The most obvious difference with the first two microscopes is that a laser is used for observation and the sample needs to be stained at the same time, whereas the compound and stereo microscopes use conventional light for observation.

The display principle of the confocal microscope is that the sample is correctly prepared and placed on top of a slide, a pattern is generated by displaying it through the dichroic mirrors included in the confocal microscope, and then a magnified image is displayed on the screen of a computer. This microscope allows multiple scanned patterns to be arranged and combined, making it ideal for creating 3D images to obtain a clear view of the subject.

This microscope has the same high magnification capabilities as a compound microscope, but it will have a higher resolution, meaning that a clear pattern is ensured to be obtained while magnifying the image at a high magnification.

Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning Electron Microscopes, or SEMs, are more specialized than other types of microscopes in that they form images through electrons, and there are significant differences in the way they work, allowing them to be used for scanning samples under vacuum conditions. The first step in preparation for this process is dehydration and then coating, which is a thin film layer of conductive material. After the sample is prepared, it is placed in a special chamber SEM uses a computer screen to generate a 3D image, the resulting image is in black and white, the operator can carefully control the magnification, and therefore has a greater versatility in the reading of data, so SEM is mainly used in the field of biological, physical and other scientific research.


Microscope by a variety of types, including simple microscope, compound microscope, stereomicroscope, confocal microscope and scanning electron microscope, according to the characteristics of the different microscopes are used in various fields, of course, in addition to these types of microscopes, there are some less common microscopes, you can choose the right microscope according to the specific needs.


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