Understanding Different Types of Microscopes and Their Applications

Understanding Different Types of Microscopes and Their Applications

The human eye is a complex machine that is rightly called a "miracle of design" as it helps people to perceive, understand, and explore the world. Yet this miracle organ can't catch some microorganisms or molecules that evade its reach.

Now, you imagine a world where the invisible becomes visible, and even the tiniest structures are brought under sharp focus. Often dubbed as a symbol of scientific discovery, the microscope has been our third eye to understand the miniature universe that exists beyond the naked eye. Are you interested in knowing about the different types of Laboratory Microscopeses and their applications? Get ready to know about humanity's most ingenious invention and its applications:

Simple Microscope

A simple microscope has a single or compound lens. These types of microscope lenses can show various kinds of aberration, which would have an impact on the image quality. A magnifying glass and a reading glass are some examples of single microscopic lenses. But Magnified images may have Spherical and Chromatic aberrations.

A compound lens is an array of single lenses on a common axis. The compound lens is used to magnify at higher power and correct some aberrations that may arise when a single lens is used.

Applications of Simple Microscope

Examining archaeological materials such as engravings, stamps etc.

Jewelers used it to know about the jewels

Used to inspect skin allergies

Observing microscopic organisms like algae, fungi, and more

Used in nutritional research

Compound Microscope

The compound microscope with at least two lens arrays and an objective on one of these arrays can magnify the objects greatly. It is usually placed close to the objects that will be under examination. The eyepiece, which is referred to as ocular, takes the real image of the objective creatures and then converts it into a virtual image. The compound microscope's most basic form is called monocular.

Application of Compound Microscope

Used to examine viruses and bacteria

Used in the investigation of crimes

Used to know about minerals in a blood sample

Used to observe plant cells and other bacteria living in the cell

Used for academic research purposes.

Stereo Microscope

Stereo microscopes are designed for 3D views and low power. In this microscope, the object or specimen can be manipulated while it is being studied. Two similar beams of light from the same specimen focus the beams on two eyes to enable us a 3D view of specimen. The primary purpose of the microscope is to see a large portion of a specimen, like a flower. With its unusual paired optics, a normal, upright view with a magnification range between 7.5x and 80x can be seen. It has a common characteristic of open viewing stages, coarse and fine focus knobs, and reflector light illuminator.

Both the Stereo microscope and binocular microscopes are different. In Stereo microscopes, two main optical systems, each with a prism, objective, and eyepiece, are used.

Application of Stereo Microscope

Used in microsurgery

Examining specimens like plants and animals

Used for observing crystals

It is also used when working with circuits

Gem and Electronic industry

Electron Microscope

In an electron microscope, the source of illumination is the accelerated beam of electrons. With this special type of microscope, high-resolution images can be magnified in nanometers. In an electron microscope, tungsten element is used.

A high-voltage electron is used, which then results in electron excitation with a continuous stream that is used as a light beam. Magnetic coils are the lens used in an electron microscope that is capable of focusing the electron beam on the sample, which results in the sample getting illuminated.

The strength of the magnetic lens is increased with an increase in current. The important factor to know is that the electron beam flow is designed in such a way that it cannot pass through the glasses.

Applications of electron microscope

It is used in high-resolution imaging and inspection at sub-atomic level

For computer chip manufacturing, this chip is used

Used to study in detail about minerals

Examine various diseases like tumours.

It is also used in examining gemstones and jewellers.

Scanning Probe Microscope

Scanning Probe Microscope is used to examine specimens at Nano levels. The properties of a specimen, its reaction time, and its behaviour can be examined with the help of the Scanning Probe Microscope. At the end of the cantilever, a Scanning Probe Microscope has a probe tip mounted on it. The tip is so sharp that it can move accurately across the surface of the sample piece, scanning each and every atom. For the cantilever to experience a deflection due to the forces, the tip is placed close to the surface. With the help of the laser, the distance is measured. The final image of the sample can be viewed on the computer.

Applications of Scanning Probe Microscope

Examining the electrical properties of the object

Study the magnetic properties of the object

With the help of this microscope, information can be transferred to the specimen.

Examining the Nanoscale measurements of wear and tear, friction, and lubrication

Inverted Microscope

Inverted microscopes are available in metallurgical inverted microscopes and biological inverted microscopes. The magnification of Biological Inverted Microscope can range from 40x to sometimes 200x and 400x. This microscope is used to examine the living samples in a petri dish. An Inverted Microscope allows the user to place the dish on a flat stage and the objective lens placed behind the stage. Long Working Distance Objectives are used in it, The Metallurgical Inverted Microscopes are used to view the fractures and faults at higher magnification. This microscope is different from the Biological Inverted Microscope as the smooth side of a sample must be made to lay flat on the stage. This smooth sample, which is sometimes referred to as Punk, is polished.


Used in in-vitro fertilization, live cell imaging, cell biology, and more

Used in research to study and analyze cells and tissues

Used for examining mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria

It is also used in micromanipulation application

Final thoughts

An image of a sample can be observed or examined in detail with the help of the microscope. The advantages of a microscope are not only restricted to the scientific community, as you can see its benefits, right from the medicines to chips used in mobile phones. With the new advancements in technologies, microscopes are also entering a new phase of development.