Microscopy and imaging facility
Our microscopy laboratory has six microscopes with digital cameras, connected to computers, for photography and image analysis.
There are 2 petrological transmitted/reflected light polarising microscopes for studying standard petrological thin sections, polished thin sections and polished blocks. One is a Leica DM750P and the other is a Nikon Optiphot 2.
Transmitted / reflected light microscopy
There is a Leica DMR transmitted/reflected (bright field) light microscope with polarisers, nomarski (DIC), and with lenses from x1.25-x100 (for oil immersion). This microscope is 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.
Transmitted /reflected fluorescence microscopy
There is a Leica DML microscope which in transmitted light has nomarski (DIC) and in reflected light is fitted with filters for UV, UV+violet, blue and green wavelength fluorescent light. Fluorescence can be used in carbonate petrology and also for studying biological material.
There are two Leica stereomicroscopes, a MZ12.5 and a higher specification MZ16. Both have 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 and a drawing tube.
For photography, the six computer systems are fitted with Leica LAS (Leica Application Suite) imaging software. There is a measurement option that allows measurements and text to be added to an image and also multi-focus software that allows the capture of a stack of images at different focus positions, which are then combined into a single extended depth of focus image (particularly useful for stereomicroscopy).