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Microscopy & Imaging Facility

The school has a microscopy laboratory which is equipped with a range of microscopes and digital cameras for photography and image analysis.

For further information and to book any of these microscopes please contact:

Lindsey Axe
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74310

Katie Dobbie
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 76885



There is a Nikon Optiphot transmitted/reflected light polarising microscope for studying standard petrological thin sections and polished blocks. It has a range of objectives from x2.5 to x40. 



For advanced research work, there is a Leica DMR transmitted/reflected (bright field) light microscope with polarisers, nomarski (DIC), and with lenses from x2.5-x100 (for oil immersion). This microscope can be used for looking at standard microscope slide preparations with cover slips in transmitted light and polished blocks in reflected light. DIC is useful for studying microfossils, particularly palynomorphs, pollen, diatoms and coccoliths. Pictured here: (left) DMR microscope; (center) polished section of charcoal; (right) diatoms viewed in DIC.


For fluorescence work, there is a Leica DML microscope, fitted with UV, UV+violet, blue and green wavelength reflected fluorescent light and standard transmitted light. Fluorescence is useful for limestone petrology and also for studying biological material. Pictured here: (left) DML microscope; (right) flourescence in limestone.



For stereoscopic studies, there are two Leica stereomicroscopes, a MZ12.5 and a MZ16 with a range of different magnification lenses. In reflected light there is a choice of twin fibre optic light sources or a ring light, both with optional polarisers. There are also transmitted light bases with optional polarisers.


Both computer systems are fitted with Leica LAS (Leica Application Suite) imaging software, including measurement software that allows measurements and text to be added to an image and multi-focus software that allows capture of a stack of images at different focus positions, which  are then combined into a single extended depth of focus image.


Links to further information: