Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM)

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM)

CLSM for materials uses laser light (405 nm wavelength) and an adjustable aperture to optically produce thin (nm to um) focal slices to optically section a sample. The aperture (typically called a pinhole) rejects out-of-focus information, and only in-focus information is detected. By changing the distance between the sample and the objective lens, through finely controlled steps in the Z direction, and by scanning the laser in the X/Y direction, an image stack is created with each pixel of each slice containing intensity information about the investigated surface. The most intense pixels of the stack are combined to form a continuous surface.

The applications of the instrument cover roughness/waviness estimation, and step height measurements. By scanning an area or montaging together many areas, a three-dimensional topographic image of the surface can be produced, and two-dimensional profiles can be isolated from this for analysis.

Laser confocal microscope image of a printed circuit board used for electrochemical testing.


Zeiss LSM800 For Materials
Zeiss Axio Imager.Z2m upright compound microscope

System Capabilities:

  • Full spectrum LED light for reflective microscopy
  • 405 nm wavelength laser
  • C-Epiplan-Apochrome Objectives: 5x, NA 0.2; 10x, NA 0.4; 20x, NA 0.4 LD; 20x, NA 0.7; 50x, NA 0.55 LD; 50x, NA 0.95
  • Piezo measured motorized stage
  • Brightfield and Circular-DIC reflector cubes
  • TIC filter

Selected Applications in Industry:

  • Monitoring of corrosion growth on metals
  • Analysis of fiber texture of paper
  • Measurement of thickness of an ink printed surface
  • Membrane and fabric surface 3D morphology imaging
  • Crater depth measurement of a paint basecoat underneath a clearcoat
  • SIMS sputter rate estimation