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X Must-Have dark field illumination definition

dark field illumination definition

dark field illumination definition at High Magnifications


For more precise work and blacker backgrounds, you may choose a condenser designed especially for darkfield, i.e. to transmit only oblique rays. There are several varieties: “dry” darkfield condensers with air between the top of the condenser and the underside of the slide–and immersion darkfield condensers which require the use of a drop of immersion oil (some are designed to use water instead) establishing contact between the top of the condenser and the underside of the specimen slide. The immersion darkfield condenser has internal mirrored surfaces and passes rays of great obliquity and free of chromatic aberration, producing the best results and blackest background.

Perhaps the most widely used darkfield condenser is the paraboloid, consisting of a solid piece of glass ground very accurately into the shape of a paraboloid, as illustrated in Figure 5(b). Light incident upon the reflecting surface (between the glass and condenser housing in Figure 5(b)) of a paraboloid condenser will be focused at the focal point of the reflector. Most paraboloid condensers are cut to ensure that the focal point is slightly beyond the top of the condenser so that parallel light rays will be focused at a position that maximizes illumination of the specimen. The light stop at the bottom of the glass condenser serves to block central rays from reaching the specimen. Light rays that are reflected by the condenser are angled higher than the critical angle of reflection and converge at the principal focus of the condenser. The combination of a glass slide, mounting medium, and immersion oil (between the condenser and the microscope slide) complete the optical homogeneity of the paraboloid shape.

As discussed above, the dry darkfield condenser is useful for objectives with numerical apertures below 0.75 (Figure 5(a)), while the paraboloid and cardioid immersion condensers (Figures 1 and 5(b)) can be used with objectives of very high numerical aperture (up to 1.4). Objectives with a numerical aperture above 1.2 will require some reduction of their working aperture since their maximum numerical aperture may exceed the numerical aperture of the condenser, thus allowing direct light to enter the objective. For this reason, many high numerical aperture objectives designed for use with darkfield as well as brightfield illumination are made with a built-in adjustable iris diaphragm that acts as an aperture stop. This reduction in numerical aperture also limits the resolving power of the objective as well as the intensity of light in the image. Specialized objectives designed exclusively for darkfield work are produced with a maximum numerical aperture close to the lower limit of the numerical aperture of the darkfield condenser. They do not have internal iris diaphragms, however the lens mount diameters are adjusted so at least one internal lens has the optimum diameter to perform as an aperture stop.

Table 2 lists several properties of the most common reflecting high numerical aperture darkfield condensers. This table should be used as a guide when selecting condenser/objective combinations for use with high numerical aperture darkfield applications.

dark field illumination definition

What is dark field illumination definition?

What is dark field illumination definition?

dark field microscopy of sugar crystals-Dark Field illumination is a technique used to observe unstained samples causing them to appear brightly lit against a dark, almost purely black, background.Pictured right: Highly magnified image of sugar crystals using darkfield microscopy technique,When light hits an object, rays are scattered in all azimuths or directions. The design of the dark field microscope is such that it removes the dispersed light, or zeroth order, so that only the scattered beams hit the sample.The introduction of a condenser and/or stop below the stage ensures that these light rays will hit the specimen at different angles, rather than as a direct light source above/below the object.The result is a “cone of light” where rays are diffracted, reflected and/or refracted off the object, ultimately, allowing you to view a specimen in dark field.

dark field illumination definition

What is CytoViva® Enhanced dark field illumination definition Optics


CytoViva’s enhanced darkfield microscope optics improve signal-to-noise up to ten times (10x) over standard darkfield optics1.  This enables nanomaterials as small as 10nm-20nm to be imaged right from your laboratory benchtop2.

CytoViva’s patented (US patents No. 7,542,203, 7,564,623) enhanced darkfield illumination system, which replaces the standard microscope condenser, works by coupling the source illumination directly to the condenser optics. In this optical path, collimating lenses and mirrors align and fix the geometry of the light to match the geometry of the condenser annulus. This creates a very narrow, oblique angle of source illumination that can be precisely focused into the sample but bypasses the objective. The result is very intense  scatter from nanoscale samples against a very dark background.  Source illumination compatible with this system can be halogen, xenon or even laser, depending on the application.

Enhanced Darkfield Illumination Optics

CytoViva’s enhanced darkfield optics enable scientists to optically observe a wide range of nanoscale materials quickly and easily in solution, live cells, tissue and materials based matrices. In addition, non-fluorescent live cells and pathogens can be easily observed at a level of detail not possible with traditional optical imaging techniques such as phase contrast or differential interference contrast.

Finally, when combined with CytoViva’s Hyperspectral Imaging capability this high signal-to-noise microscopy method enables researchers to spectrally characterize and map nanoscale samples in a wide range of environments.

To see just how easy CytoViva is to use, simply watch this brief video overview of the installation and alignment process.
Please email sales@CytoViva.com to request your private web demonstration.

dark field illumination definition

When to Use a Dark Field Microscope?

dark field illumination definition are used in a number of different ways to view a variety of specimens that are hard to see in a light field unit. Live bacteria, for example, are best viewed with this type of microscope, as these organisms are very transparent when unstained.

There are multitudes of other ways to use dark field illumination, often when the specimen is clear or translucent. Some examples:

Dark field illumination of caffeine crystalsLiving or lightly stained transparent specimens

Single-celled organisms

Live blood samples

Aquatic environment samples (from seawater to pond water)

Living bacteria

Hay or soil samples

Pollen samples

Certain molecules such as caffeine crystals (right)

dark field illumination definition makes many invisible specimens appear visible. Most of the time the specimens invisible to bright field illumination are living, so you can see how important it is to bring them into view!

dark field illumination definition

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