Polarizing Microscopes

Welcome to our online store. We are a full service optical equipment dealer with a specialty in polarized light microscopy. We sell both instruments having transmitted only or both transmitted and incident - reflected polarized light capable of plane and cross polarization. Petrographic is a name given to this type of equipment since their main application is in studying rocks and minerals under polarizing light. The study of optical mineralogy uses them for analysis and identification of rock and mineral thin sections on glass slides.

All of our units have the full Bertrand lens system, complete with a polarizer and an analyzer. Cross polarization can be obtained by turning the polarizer and the analyzer at 90 degrees to each other, which is the extinction angle. At this extinction angle, most light transmission is blocked by the two filters. A unit set at the extinction angle is able to view thin sections of birefringent specimens and see stunning coloration. We also provide these compensator plates: quartz wedge, mica (1/4 wavelength), and gypsum (full wavelength).

Most petrographic units produce only transmitted polarized light. This means they provide light from the bottom and it transmits through the thin section of birefringent specimen on a slide. Some also have the capability for incident reflected polarized light using epi-illumination through the objective lens. These units are commonly known as ore microscopes since they view thick polished specimens of rocks and minerals. The rock ore is polished and only the top surface is viewed. Since the ore is thick, it is opaque and no light is transmitted through it. The ore models apply incident polar light to the specimen's surface which is reflected back into the objective to be viewed in the eyepieces.

Applications for the PLM include rock and mineral identification, medical applications such as in viewing microscopic crystals in urine, biochemistry and biomedical research, studying meteorite thin specimens, identifying asbestos using the NIOSH 7400 method with a dispersion staining objective, geology and geological engineering, and in the petroleum industry.

For low cost units, we have several selections. The quality is reasonable but they will not compare to the high grade Japan and German made. For top of the line, we sell refurbished and dealer demo Olympus, Zeiss, and Leica branded units. The quality is excellent and the prices are so much cheaper than found elsewhere such as at the factory dealers.

We also provide a wide range of accessories including digital camera adapters and USB computer connected cameras for capturing digital video and digital still images on your computer. Please contact our technical staff today to discuss your application and allow us to meet all your needs.