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what is dark field optical microscopy and why we need it?

what is dark field optical microscopy?

dark field optical microscopy

dark field optical microscopy

dark field optical microscopy

dark field optical microscopy

Brightfield microscopy uses light from the lamp source under the microscope stage to illuminate the specimen. This light is gathered in the condenser, then shaped into a cone where the apex is focused on the plane of the specimen. In order to view a specimen under a brightfield microscope, the light rays that pass through it must be changed enough in order to interfere with each other (or contrast) and therefore, build an image. At times, a specimen will have a refractive index very similar to the surrounding medium between the microscope stage and the objective lens. When this happens, the image can not be seen. In order to visualize these biological materials well, they must have a contrast caused by the proper refractive indices, or be artificially stained. Since staining can kill specimens, there are times when darkfield microscopy is used instead.

In darkfield microscopy the condenser is designed to form a hollow cone of light (see illustration below), as apposed to brightfield microscopy that illuminates the sample with a full cone of light. In darkfield microscopy, the objective lens sits in the dark hollow of this cone and light travels around the objective lens, but does not enter the cone shaped area. The entire field of view appears dark when there is no sample on the microscope stage. However, when a sample is placed on the stage it appears bright against a dark background. It is similar to back-lighting an object that may be the same color as the background it sits against – in order to make it stand out.

Darkfield Microscope Applications

Viewing blood cells (biological darkfield microscope, combined with phase contrast)
Viewing bacteria (biological darkfield microscope, often combined with phase contrast)
Viewing different types of algae (biological darkfield microscope)
Viewing hairline metal fractures (metallurgical darkfield microscope)
Viewing diamonds and other precious stones (gemological microscope or stereo darkfield microscope)
Viewing shrimp or other invertebrates (stereo darkfield microscope)

Darkfield Microscope Options

Metallurigcal reflected light brightfield/darkfield microscope.
Metallurgical reflected and transmitted light brightfield/darkfield microscope.
Stereo microscope 420 with darkfield attachment.
Stereo Zoom SMZ-168 microscope with darkfield attachment.
Biological laboratory phase contrast microscope with darkfield for up to 40x.
Biological laboratory microscope BA210 with darkfield slider.
Biological student microscope 162 with darkfield attachment.

Already have a microscope, but your microscope manufacturer does not make a darkfield stop? If there is a filter holder below your condenser, a darkfield stop we carry may work. Or you can mount a coin or circle of another opaque material in the center of a clear disk and put it in the filter holder.

why dark field optical microscopy?

A dark field microscope is ideal for viewing objects that are unstained, transparent and absorb little or no light.

These specimens often have similar refractive indices as their surroundings, making them hard to distinguish with other illumination techniques.

You can use dark field to study marine organisms such as algae and plankton, diatoms, insects, fibers, hairs, yeast and protozoa as well as some minerals and crystals, thin polymers and some ceramics.

You can also use dark field in the research of live bacterium, as well as mounted cells and tissues.

It is more useful in examining external details, such as outlines, edges, grain boundaries and surface defects than internal structure.

Dark field microscopy is often dismissed for more modern observation techniques such as phase contrast and DIC, which provide more accurate, higher contrasted images and can be used to observe a greater number of specimens.

Recently, dark field has regained some of its popularity when combined with other illumination techniques, such as fluorescence, which widens its possible employment in certain fields.

dark field microscopy uses

 

when use the dark field optical microscopy?

Viewing Blood cells.
Viewing bacteria.
Viewing different types of algae.
Viewing hairline metal fractures.
Viewing diamonds and other precious stones.
Viewing shrimp and other vertebrae.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Bright Field Microscopy.
Application of Bright Field Illumination
-This technique is widely used in pathology to
view fixed tissue sections or cell films/smears
-In biological applications, brightfield observation is widely used for stained or naturally pigmented or highly contrasted specimens mounted on a glass microscope slide.

Dark field microscopy Conclusion

A dark field microscope can offer brilliant, light images against a dark background of otherwise difficult to view specimens.Most standard microscopes come with dark field capabilities or accessories to enable this illumination technique.There are many practical applications of dark field, especially in the field of marine biology, in viewing the many specimens you cannot see using alternative techniques.However, a researcher must keep in mind the potential issues and limitations that may arise from dark field illumination.

 

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