Light Microscopy / Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) Services

Using light microscopes to examine the optical and structural properties of samples is one of the oldest and most useful analytical techniques.  MicroVision Labs has several high magnification microscopes, including a powerful Zeiss Axiotech microscope capable of 1800x optical magnification, with additional digital magnification, allowing for visualization of sub-micron structures.  PLM allows for the identification of a wide range of particles through the examination of the internal birefringence, or variation in optical indices, within a sample.  The unique properties of birefringence allow for the differentiation of fibers, minerals, ceramics, and other biological materials.  Particles can therefore be identified and comparatively quantified, resulting in the characterization of the components of a sample.  Complimentary optical techniques such as Nomarski/DIC, bright field and dark field imaging add to the amount of information our Optical Analysts can obtain from your samples.  Additionally we have a range of light sources and filters to outfit our stereo microscopes for fluorescent microscopy.


  • An extremely wide range of materials can be characterized by our experienced analysts.
  • Dust or mixed material samples can be examined to estimate the composition by percent in the sample.
  • All our optical pictures include a calibrated scale bar and our imaging software has measurement capabilities.
  • Standards compared to a sample assist in determining if there is a contribution at the site.
  • Specific particle types or materials (soot, fiberglass, metals, polymers, etc.) singled out for analysis.
  • Allergens, irritants or industrial debris are all easily identified.

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