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2014-15 Product Resource Guide: Microscopy and Imaging

Get lists of questions to ask when buying microscopy and imaging equipment, the most recent microscopy and imaging equipment  releases, and an updated microscopy and imaging manufacturer's list in this section.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an Optical Microscope

1. What type of specimens will you be looking at? This will help you determine whether or not an upright or inverted frame type is best for you. For example, inverted frame types are best for thick specimens.

2. What applications are you using your microscope for? Answering this question is important when deciding whether a polarizing or nonpolarizing microscope is required. That information will also be useful in deciding on a basic or advanced model.

3. Are accuracy and ease of use critical for your applications? If they are, you will want to check out the motorized options of the microscope brand you decide to select.

4. Of course, asking about cost is also important. If your budget is limited, going with the basic model is usually the cheapest option.

5. What service and support options are available?

6. How long will staff be working at the microscope? If lab workers will be using the instrument for extended periods, selecting the most ergonomic microscope you can is important.

There are a few different considerations if you are in the market for an SEM microscope:

Top 7 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an SEM Microscope

1. What type of samples will you be looking at? This needs to be asked of the technical experts who can guide the user to the appropriate type of SEM, X-ray spectrometer and accessories.

2. What are the sizes of the features you want to image or, expressed differently, what is the maximum magnification you want to view the samples at; and at what accelerating voltages do you want to use? This will be the deciding factor between: a) table top SEM b) W SEM, or c) Field Emission SEM.

3. Who will be using the instrument the most? Experts or non-experts?

4. What is the budget? #1, 2 above may be moot if the budget is not sufficient. What is the expected total cost of ownership?

5. How many of the SEM you are considering (or similar models) are in use, in the field? Get a complete, not hand-picked, users’ list.

6. Will you receive application support/instrument training? How many service engineers are in your area and what is their average response time to be “on site” for repairs?

7. What is the experience of the applications/training support staff, and can they be contacted directly for help?

Recently Released Microscopy & Imaging Systems

TCS SP8 STED 3X Super-Resolution Microscope System

  • A pulsed 775 nm STED laser option is now available, along with a range of multiple STED lasers of different wavelengths
  • Achieves sub 30 nm resolution through pulsed stimulated emission depletion technology
  • Allows researchers to tune resolution in the lateral as well as the axial direction
  • New pulsed laser leads to a further increase in resolution capacity

Leica Microsystems 

SkyScan 2211 High-Resolution X-Ray Nanotomograph

  • Capable of non-destructive scanning and 3D reconstruction of internal microstructures of large objects, as well as providing submicron resolution for small samples
  • Opens unique possibilities for 3D imaging and exact modeling of materials in a number of applications, such as oil and gas exploration, composite materials, fuel cells, and electronic assemblies
  • Allows for the scanning of larger objects up to 200mm in diameter


IDRaman Micro Raman Microscope

  • Designed for Raman measurements in research, quality control and quality assurance environments
  • Versatile, high-performance analytical tool for applications where sampling requires careful focus and high spatial resolution to optimize the Raman signal
  • OneFocus feature optimizes the instrument for Raman sampling using the same focal plane for collecting images and Raman signals

Ocean Optics 

NanoEx-i/v Sample Holder for In Situ TEM

  • For atomic-resolution imaging at elevated temperatures and applied electrical bias
  • New solution can be integrated with FEI’s transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) to observe the effects of heating and electrical bias on nanostructured materials during in situ experiments
  • Optimized to accept a variety of sample geometries, from nanoparticles to thin FIB-prepared lamellae


Microscopy & Imaging System Manufacturers

Bruker Optics 

Carl Zeiss 


Edmund Optics 




Hitachi High Technologies 




Leica Microsystems 

Meiji Techno America 

MilesCo Scientific 

Motic Instruments 

Nikon Instruments  

Ocean Optics 


OPTIKA Microscopes  


Prior Scientific