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Using microscope for OPAQUE samples

  1. Dec 7, 2012 #1
    I have an optical microscope and some opaque samples that I want to examine the surface of. I drew up a picture of how the microscope is arranged (attached). There is a series of lenses on a rotating drum that are located underneath the stage where glass slides are placed. The lenses usually come very close to the glass, almost touching it.
    I'm having a lot of trouble lighting up the surface of the sample I need to look at. There needs to be quite a bit of light in order to get any decent image, and there is no space underneath to shine light from below. I have an optical fiber illuminator (brand Fiberlite) and it's still too big to snake through underneath. The lenses usually block all the light.
    I tried to put aluminum foil on the bottom of the glass slide and use it to reflect the light fom above but that failed too, there was simply not enough light. I'm stuck right now and need some help.

    Any ideas?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2012 #2


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    Can you get a thinner sample? Or a smaller one in general, to get more light from the sides? The aluminium foil is a nice approach, but it works best if the sample is smaller than the height of the glass (+- some factor of 2).
  4. May 14, 2013 #3
    You can use any opaque surface that is small in size and can reflect the light. It may be a metal.
    biobank information
  5. May 14, 2013 #4


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    If the microscope is binocular, try removing one eyepiece and shining your light source down that.

    This worked for me the other day to give me reflected light when I only had transmitted to work with.

    Otherwise, I think you might need to find a better microscope.
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