An innovative high-tech laser scanning microscope makes using state-of-the-art equipment a breeze.In an effort to work smarter, not harder, simplicity in use is the key to a recently introduced laser scanning microscope (LSM) from Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH, Hamburg, Germany—the LSM 5 EXCITER.
The new microscope system eliminates the need for manual operation as all moving components, such as emission filter wheels, variable beamsplitters, and the pinhole and mechanical attenuators for each laser line, are computer-controlled.
The LSM 5 EXCITER’s fully motorized scanning module is based on three major principles:
• Short beam path combined with highly sensitive detectors close to the specimen for maximum efficiency.
• High quality filters and dichroics selected for optimum match to available laser lines ensure highest transmission.
• Exchangeable filter sliders and dichroic wheels providing flexibility for present and future applications.
StitchArt plus—The LSM 5 EXCITER has a StitchArt plus option which expands microscopy in all directions, such as extra-long line profiles or image stack arrays extending more than 100x the size of the scan field. This can be automatically acquired, exactly assembled, and precisely quantified.
In addition, the StitchArt plus option integrates many automatic procedures and adjusting functions, including, among others, autofocus, automatic contrast and brightness optimization, automatic orientation of the scan field, and precise first order correction of the objective’s residual field curvature.
Topography for LSM—The optional Topography for LSM software package handles the extraction, processing, presentation, and measurement of height information of 3-D surface topographies and 2-D surface profiles. Together with the LSM 5 EXCITER configured for materials analysis, this software makes up a system for fast, non-contact optical microprofilometry.
The Zen of LSMThe software needed for the LSM 5 EXCITER—Zen—uses a combination of state-of-the-art technology and intuitive user interface and is designed for use on a 30-inch screen.
Zen has a Pro-Basic concept that ensures tool panels are never more complex than needed. For instance, in Basic Mode, the most common tools are displayed. It is up to the user to activate Pro Mode and add additional functionality.
In many cases, the microscope system and the monitor are physically far apart. Therefore, when loading the sample and adjusting the focus, it becomes very hard to read the settings on the computer screen. This problem is solved with Zen’s unique interface, which is scalable.
Also, setting up conventional confocal software to perform a given experiment can take an extended amount of time and must be repeated with each experiment. Zen’s adjustments must be done only once and can be restored with just two mouse clicks. Each experiment’s layout can be set up and saved in addition to being shared in a multi-user environment.
LSM 5 EXCITER is offered with polarization equipment in combination with their Axio Imager and Axio Observer microscopes. Special emphasis has been placed on the flexibility of the LSM 5 EXCITER. Zeiss has seven versions with one or two confocal channels and combinations of lasers in the blue and green spectrum and a choice of four microscopes available.
— Adria Nieswand