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Optical Microscopy Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/6/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Optical Microscopy Services from Advanced MicroAnalytical Provide Answers to Forensic, Production and R&D Questions
Introduction Advanced MicroAnalytical offers optical microscopy, along with a wide range of other techniques, to develop solutions to challenges faced by industry.

Salem, NH, May 6th, 2020

There are many types of optical microscopes and each can provide crucial information to an experienced scientist or materials engineer searching for answers. This traditional form of microscopy, utilizing magnification and light, was invented back in the 18th century. Today, optical microscopy analysis forms the basis of many forensic investigations.

The ability to highlight specific materials or particles of interest quickly and with minimal preparation makes optical analysis a ‘go to’ first step for a host of different applications. In addition to the ease of use and wide range of sample types that can be analyzed, optical analysis is able to achieve a wide range of magnification, from 10x-1000x or more.

Among the most common applications for optical microscopy include the comparison of physical dimensions and manufacturing techniques, detection and identification of contaminant or incident particles, and the examination of multiple phases in complex mixtures or manufactured materials.

Advanced MicroAnalytical’s scientists supply clients with a range of optical microscopy techniques to assist with forensic and material investigations. The techniques include:

Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)
For examination of transparency or opacity, optical index of materials (birefringence) for comparative and quantitative analysis of materials ranging from biological particles, minerals, polymers, and manufactured inorganic material.

For identification and detection of trace materials that might otherwise be difficult to identify in small amounts, either from the addition of material specific staining and marking techniques, or taking advantage of the natural fluorescent properties of the target material.

Brightfield & Darkfield Imaging
For the examination of reflected light on the surface of samples, allowing for detection of surface contour, phases, and layers of constructed materials. Darkfield imaging highlights changes to the phases of materials, and also highlights cracks, barrier changes, and edges such as found in grain structure in metallographic samples.

Digital Image Analysis
Special image analysis includes digital magnification, calibration, and complex dimensional analysis on images captured with optical microscopes (grain size, layer thickness, tortuosity, surface area, etc.).

Normarski /Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy (DIC)
For highlighting surface texture and materials with different refractive indexes. DIC also allows for the examination of surface detail that is typically extremely challenging to image with traditional techniques – including thin layers of transparent material well under a micron in thickness.

Advanced MicroAnalytical’s scientists have access to a wide array of optical microscopes and a laboratory full of other advanced material testing instruments. All of these resources provide their experts with the tools to rapidly develop answers and solutions to challenging questions. To learn more about this or other testing techniques at Advanced MicroAnalytical, please visit, call (877) 605-6662 or email

About Advanced MicroAnalytical

At Advanced MicroAnalytical we are dedicated to providing you and your business with critical insight and knowledge that is essential in the modern era. We provide the testing services and analytical tools for comprehensive understanding of your materials and projects. Our services range from advanced microanalysis of nanotechnology to compositional and functional analysis of large manufactured systems.  Our laboratory services span a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, micro-electronics, nanofabrication, aerospace and defense, environmental engineering – as well as many others. Advanced MicroAnalytical is committed to serving as a valued analytical partner to our clients. We offer unmatched analysis, testing, and services to assist you in your business, environmental, and research challenges. Visit our website at
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