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Optical Microscopy Course Educational Kit


  • Designed for Education, Demonstration, and Classroom Use
  • Easy-to-Use Kits Include Components Plus Educational Materials

Includes Comprehensive Course Materials for Students and Instructors

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The Optical Microscopy Course Kit takes students through 10 lab units, covering various topics in imaging and microscopy.

Optical Microscopy Course Educational Kit

  • Designed for Educational, Demonstration, and Classroom Use
  • Complete Kit Includes All Necessary Hardware Except Computer
  • Extensive Manual, Lab Notes, Course Notes, and Instructor Notes Guide Students and Teachers Through Full Quarter- or Semester-Long Course
  • Choose from Educational Kits Containing Imperial or Metric Components

Topics Covered

  • Optical Imaging Basics
  • Köhler Illumination
  • Abbe Theory of Image Formation
  • Contrast Methods
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Spectra and Filters

The Optical Microscopy Course Kit contains components, documentation, and software for a full undergraduate course in optical microscopy. During the course, students build and operate a modular microscope in order to learn about image formation, resolution, aberrations, conjugate planes, and more. The course also introduces students to several imaging techniques such as darkfield, phase contrast, and fluorescence microscopy.

Extensive teaching materials are provided with this kit, including: Lab Notes, which guide students through procedures and exercises with the equipment; Course Notes, which detail the underlying scientific principles; and Instructor Notes, which provide useful tips for administering the course.

Thorlabs Educational Products

Thorlabs' line of educational products aims to promote physics, optics, and photonics by covering many classic experiments, as well as emerging fields of research. Each educational kit includes all the necessary components and a manual that contains both detailed setup instructions and extensive teaching materials. These kits are being offered at the price of the included components, with the educational materials offered for free. Technical support from our educational team is available both before and after purchase.

About the Kit

Thorlabs' Optical Microscopy Course Educational Kit takes students through a quarter- or semester-long microscopy course covering optical properties, imaging techniques, and microscope design. It includes a modular, open optical rail upon which students assemble and align an infinite-conjugates microscope.


Click for Details

Resolution Target Included with EDU-OMC1(/M) Kit

Optics
The students assemble the microscope components on the rail, gaining hands-on experience regarding the importance of position and alignment. The critical optics include:

  • Plano-Convex Collector Lens, f = 35 mm
  • Achromatic Condenser Lens, f = 50 mm
  • Achromatic Objective Lens, f = 25 mm
  • Achromatic Tube Lens, f = 200 mm

A custom resolution target is provided for teaching Abbe theory and Fourier optics. The features on the target are chrome coated and include a Siemens star, Ronchi rulings, USAF 1951 and NBS 1963A bar sets, interdigitated lines, postitive- and negative-mask holes, a distortion grid, and concentric circles.


Click to Enlarge

Schematic of All Critical Microscope Components for Köhler Illumination

Digital Imaging
The students use two cameras during the course: a monochrome camera for imaging the sample and a color camera for imaging the objective back focal plane. The cameras were chosen such that image sampling is above the Nyquist frequency when using the objective lenses in this kit. See the Specs tab for details on these cameras.

Illumination
Once the students build sufficient understanding of fundamental optical properties, they set up Köhler illumination; the layout is illustrated in the image to the right. The students use this setup for the majority of the course to investigate coherent and incoherent illumination, aberrations, and the effects of exposure and gain settings on the quality of the final image, especially on image contrast and resolution. This setup is ideal for teaching the Abbe theory of image formation, a central element of the course.

Imaging Modes
The kit primarily uses brightfield imaging. In the later labs of the course, students investigate darkfield, phase contrast, and fluorescence microscopy. Optics are provided to enable these lessons, including a zero-order blocking mask, a Nikon 10X phase contrast objective, and a set of fluorescent calibration microscope slides. Note that the kit is designed for educational purposes and not for scientific use in any of these imaging modes without substantial modifications to the assembly.

 


Click to Enlarge

Köhler Illumination Configuration using EDU-OMC1(/M) Kit

Topics Covered

The students engage in weekly lab sessions where they gain experience using different imaging methods. A summary of the main topics covered in the course is provided below.

Optical Imaging Basics

Students begin by learning the basics of light waves, optics, and imaging. They become familiar with wave properties and the behavior of light, giving them an understanding of diffraction, image formation, resolution, and aberrations. The lab sections guide students as they set up a digital camera and spectrometer to measure the focal length of a lens, spectra of several light sources, and resolution of the system. From the beginning, the course emphasizes safe handling procedures for delicate equipment, as well as proper documentation for lab write-ups.

Köhler Illumination

The kit then leads students through the setup of controlled Köhler illumination to provide bright, uniform illumination to the sample. The students examine how each component in the system can be adjusted to alter the resulting image, including the angle of illumination and the numerical aperture of the objective. They also learn about conjugate planes and where images form within the microscope system.


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High-Magnification Objective
Click to Enlarge
Left: 150 lp/mm Test Target Grid Pattern; Right: Corresponding Diffraction Pattern in the Objective Back Focal Plane. As part of the lab on Abbe theory, students spatially filter diffraction patterns in the back focal plane in order to modify the resulting image.

Abbe Theory of Image Formation

Making use of two cameras, the students observe both the sample plane and the objective back focal plane at the same time. Abbe theory draws from Fourier optics and explains how manipulation of the diffracted orders in the back focal plane impacts the resulting image of the sample. These exercises lead the students into an exploration of different contrast methods.

Contrast Methods

The students deepen their understanding of Abbe theory and the modulation transfer function, as well as the effects of coherent versus incoherent illumination. They also build on their experience manipulating the diffracted orders of light in the back focal plane to set up darkfield and phase contrast imaging and use them to image transparent objects. These experiments allow students to gain more familiarity with conjugate planes, consider resolution and contrast in more detail, and develop intuition about how image information is distributed in the back focal plane of the objective.

Fluorescence Microscopy

Students learn about fluorescence imaging, an immensely important tool in modern biology. They gain familiarity with the nature of fluorescence excitation and emission, and use appropriate interference filters to implement fluorescence imaging and investigate different samples.

Spectra and Filters

The final lesson provides a deeper exploration of spectra. Students continue working with spectrometers, examining the behavior of different types of filters and the limitations of interference filters. This section also includes a detailed, spreadsheet-based problem set in which students learn the highly practical skill of choosing quantitatively the optimal filters for imaging with a given fluorophore, camera, and light source.


Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge
Left: Brightfield Image of Cellulose Paper Fibers; Right: Fluorescence Image of the Same Fibers, Stained with Rhodamine-Type Fluorescent Dye from a Standard Highlighter. Students prepare their own samples for fluorescence imaging as well as phase contrast imaging using items provided in the EDU-OMC1(/M) kit.
Note: This kit uses an open-rail setup that is advantageous for educational purposes; however, it requires the room to be darkened when operating in low-light imaging modes such as darkfield and fluorescence microscopy.

Note: The labs require a computer, which is not included with the kit. See the table below and the Software tab for PC requirements and information on the applications used during the course.
PC Requirementsa,b
Operating System Windows® 7 or 10
USB Ports Three USB 2.0
Monitor Size Recommended 24" or Larger
  • A computer is not included with the kit.
  • See the Software tab for more information on the applications used during the course and for additional PC requirements.
QTH10(/M) Lamp Specifications
Bulb Type Quartz Tungsten-Halogen
Optical Output Powera 50 mW (Typical)
Bulb Type Quartz Tungsten-Halogen Bulbb
Color Temperature 2800 K (Typical)c
Lifetime 2000 Hours
Bulb Voltage 12 VDC
Bulb Power 10 W
Bulb Socket G4 2-Pin Baseb
Included Power Supply Input: 90 - 264 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
Output: 12 VDC
  • Measured by focusing the output beam after the ACL5040U condenser lens onto a thermal power sensor with a previous generation MPD508762-90-P01 protected silver off-axis parabolic mirror.
  • We strongly recommend wearing gloves (such as our latex or cotton gloves) when replacing the bulb in order to prevent skin oils from being deposited on the glass. If you suspect the bulb is dirty, carefully clean it with alcohol before connecting to power.
  • Color temperature will vary from unit to unit.
Camera Specifications
Item # DCC1545M DCC1645C
CMOS Sensor Type Monochrome Color
Sensitivity Graph Dispersion Dispersion
Exposure Mode Rolling Shutter
Read Out Mode Progressive Scan
Resolution 1280 x 1024 Pixels
Optical Sensor Format 1/2" 1/3"
Pixel Clock Rangea 5 - 43 MHz 5 - 40 MHz
Frame Rate, Freerun Modeb 25 fps
Trigger Input None
Lens Mounting Thread CS-Mount (1.00"-32, 6.3 mm Deep)c
Post Mounting Thread 1/4"-20 Tap, 7 mm Deepd
Dimensions (H x W x D) 48.6 mm x 44 mm x 25.7 mm
(1.91" x 1.73" x 1.01")
Weight 0.07 lbs (32 g)
Included Adapters CS-Mount to External SM1,
CS-Mount to Internal SM1,
CS-Mount to C-Mounte,
1/4"-20 to 8-32, and 1/4"-20 to M4
  • Depends on the PC hardware used.
  • Requires maximum pixel clock frequency.
  • Please note that CS-Mount and C-Mount lens mounts both use 1.00"-32 threads but feature different flange-to-sensor distances.
  • Be careful not to thread a screw longer than the depth of the tap into the camera housing, as this could lead to damage.
  • The included CS to C-Mount adapter is not anodized. The black anodized CML05 adapter is available as a replacement or substitute.
LED Specificationsa
Item # Center Wavelength Spectral FWHM Optical Power Max Forward Currentb
LED405E 405 nm 15 10 mW (at 20 mA) 30 mA
LED528EHP 525 nm 35 7.0 mW (at 20 mA) 50 mA
LED631E 635 nm 10 4 mW (at 20 mA) 50 mA
LED940E 940 nm 50 18 mW 100 mA
  • Typical Values
  • Specified at 25 °C
CCS200(/M) Spectrometer Specificationsa
Wavelength Range 200 - 1000 nmb,c
FWHM Spectral Accuracy <2 nm @ 633 nm
S/N Ratio ≤2000:1
CCD Sensitivity 160 V / (lx · s)
Integration Time 10 μs - 10 sd
  • These specifications are valid only when the spectrometer is used with the included fiber patch cable.
  • The spectrometer cannot be amplitude calibrated below 380 nm.
  • A large difference in the relative response of the system from the UV to the visible inhibits reliable power readings in the UV when performing broadband measurements. Features in the UV may still be visible with the use of a bandpass or shortpass filter to prevent saturation at longer wavelengths.
  • The software allows an integration time up to 60 s. Integration times greater than 10 s may drastically increase hot pixels and noise.
Assembled Kit Physical Specifications
Breadboard Dimensions 8" x 36" (200 mm x 900 mm)
Overall Heighta <12" (<300 mm)
  • From Table Surface

Optical Microscopy Educational Kit Components

Thorlabs' Optical Microscopy Course Educational Kit is available in imperial and metric versions. In cases where the metric and imperial kits contain parts with different item numbers, metric measurements are indicated in parenthesis.

Several items included with the kit are consumables, such as microscope slides and cover glass. For replacements of any consumable items below, please contact Tech Support.

Description EDU-OMC1 Item # EDU-OMC1/M Item # Qty.
Rail Assembly
Aluminum Breadboard, 8" x 36" (200 mm x 900 mm) - - 1
Rubber Damping Feet, Set of 4 RDF1 2
34 mm Construction Rail, 100 mm Long - 1
34 mm Construction Rail, 900 mm Long - 1
Ø1" (Ø25 mm) Pedestal Post, 2" Long RS2P RS2P/M 4
Clamping Fork, 1.76" (44.8 mm) Counterbored Slot CF175C CF175C/M 4
Dovetail Mounting Clamp for 34 mm Rails XT34HP XT34HP/M 6
Right Angle Bracket for 34 mm Rails - - 1
Rail Carrier, 1/2" Long XT34TR1 XT34TR1/M 12
Rail Carrier, 1" Long XT34TR2 XT34TR2/M 1
Lamp
Quartz Tungsten-Halogen Lamp QTH10 QTH10/M 1
External SM2 to Internal SM1 Thread Adapter SM2A6 1
Ø25 mm BG40 Colored Glass Bandpass Filter, SM1-Threaded Mount, 335 - 610 nm FGB37M 1
Passive Heat Sink HSLT2 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
SM1 Lens Tube Cap, External Threads SM1CP2 1
Collector and Field Stop
N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens, Ø1", f = 35 mm LA1027 1
Lens Mount for Ø1" Optics LMR1 LMR1/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Mounted Iris Diaphragm ID25 ID25/M 1
Condenser
Ø1" Unmounted Visible Achromat, f = 50 mm AC254-050-A 1
Adjustable Ø1" Lens Tube, 0.81" Travel SM1V10 1
SM1 Lens Tube Clamp SM1RC SM1RC/M 1
SM1 Lens Tube, 1" Long SM1M10 1
SM2 Lever-Actuated Iris Diaphragm SM2D25 1
External SM1 to Internal SM2 Thread Adapter SM1A2 1
Snap-On Plastic Dust Cap for SM1 Lens Tubes SM1EC2B 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Sample Stage
6.5 mm Travel Single-Axis Translation Stage -a MS1S/M 1
XY Mount for 1" - 3" Rectangular Optics XYF1 XYF1/M 1
XY Mount to Sample Stage Adapter - - 1
External 1/4"-20 (M6) to External 8-32 (M4) Thread Adapter AP8E25E AP6M4M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø50 mm) Post, 2" (50 mm) Long TR2 TR50/M 1
Achromatic Objective
Ø1/2" Unmounted Visible Achromat, f = 25 mm AC127-025-A 1
Ø1/2" Adjustable Lens Tube, 0.3" Travel SM05V05 1
Ø1/2" Lens Tube, 1/2" Long SM05M05 1
SM05 Lens Tube Slip Ring SM05RC SM05RC/M 1
External SM05 to Internal SM1 Thread Adapter SM1A1 1
Calibrated Ring-Activated SM1 Iris Diaphragm SM1D12C 1
Ø1/2" (Ø50 mm) Post, 4" (100 mm) Long TR4 TR100/M 1
Sample Camera
High Resolution CMOS Camera, 1280 x 1024, Monochrome Sensor DCC1545M 1
Ø1" Adjustable Lens Tube, 1" Travel SM1V10 1
Ø1" Lens Tube, 1/2" Long SM1L05 1
Ø1" Lens Tube, 1" Long SM1L10 3
Ø1" Lens Tube, 3" Long SM1L30 1
SM1 Lens Tube Slip Ring SM1RC SM1RC/M 1
Ø1" Unmounted Visible Achromat, f = 200 mm AC254-200-A 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Snap-On Plastic Dust Cap for SM1 Lens Tubes SM1EC2B 1
Back Focal Plane Camera
High Resolution CMOS Camera, 1280 x 1024, Color Sensor DCC1645C 1
Ø1" Adjustable Lens Tube, 0.81" Travel SM1V10 1
Ø1" Lens Tube, 1" Long SM1L10 1
SM1 Lens Tube Slip Ring SM1RC SM1RC/M 1
N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens, Ø1", f = 35 mm LA1027 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Snap-On Plastic Dust Cap for SM1 Lens Tubes SM1EC2B 1
Beamsplitter
Ø2" Beamsplitter, 30:70 (R:T) EBP2 1
Ø2" Lens Mount, SM2 Threaded, 8-32 (M4) Tap LMR2 LMR2/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Spectral Filtering
Ø25 mm Bandpass Filter, CWL = 520 nm - 1
Ø1" Interference Filter, CWL = 520 nm FBH520-40 1
90° Flip Mount for Ø1" Optics TRF90 TRF90/M 2
Cage Assembly Rod, 1" Long ER1 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Neutral Density Filter Wheel
30 mm Cage Filter Wheel CFW6 CFW6/M 1
Ø1" ND Filter, OD = 0.5 ND05B 1
Ø1" ND Filter, OD = 1.0 ND10B 1
Ø1" ND Filter, OD = 1.3 ND13B 1
Ø1" ND Filter, OD = 2.0 ND20B 1
Ø1" ND Filter, OD = 3.0 ND30B 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
  • The translation stage included with the imperial kit is an MS1S platform with a 6.5 mm travel micrometer.
Description EDU-OMC1 Item # EDU-OMC1/M Item # Qty.
Plano-Convex Objective
N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens, Ø1", f = 25.4 mm LA1951 1
Lens Mount for Ø1" Optics LMR1 LMR1/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Extra-Thick SM1-Threaded Retaining Ring SM1RRC 1
LED Illumination
405 nm Epoxy-Encased LED LED405E 2
525 nm Epoxy-Encased LED, Pack of 5 LED528EHP 1
631 nm Epoxy-Encased LED LED631E 2
940 nm Epoxy-Encased LED, Pack of 5 LED940E 1
USB-Powered LED Mount, 51 Ω Resistor LEDMT1E 3
USB-Powered LED Mount, 62 Ω Resistor LEDMT1F 1
Ø1/2" Fixed Lens Mount with No Retaining Lip SMR05 SMR05/M 4
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 4" (100 mm) Long TR4 TR100/M 4
Diffuser
SM1 Lens Tube Slip Ring SM1RC SM1RC/M 1
Scotch Tape Dispenser - 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Filter Mount
Filter Holder FH2 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Zero-Order Blocking Mask
Ø1" Zero-Order Blocking Mask, Ø1.25 mm Dot - 1
Ø1" Lens Tube, 0.3" Long SM1L03 1
Snap-On Plastic Dust Cap for SM1 Lens Tubes SM1EC2B 1
Fluorescence Emission Filter
Longpass Filter, 550 nm Cutoff Wavelength FELH0550 1
Ø1" Lens Tube, 1/2" Long SM1L05 1
SM1 End Cap with Internal Threads SM1CP1 1
Snap-On Plastic Dust Cap for SM1 Lens Tubes SM1EC2B 1
Longpass Filter
Ø1" Absorptive Filter, 780 nm Cutoff Wavelength FGL780M 1
Lens Mount for Ø1" Optics LMR1 LMR1/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Fiber Mount
SMA Fiber Adapter Plate, External SM1 Threads SM1SMA 1
Ø1" Fixed Lens Mount with No Retaining Lip SMR1 SMR1/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Polarization
Linear Polarizer Film - 1
Lens Mount for Ø1" Optics LMR1 LMR1/M 1
Ø1" Lens Tube, 0.3" Long SM1L03 1
Ø1" Rotating Polarizer Mount RSP1D RSP1D/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 2
Nikon Objective
10X Nikon Phase Contrast Objective N10X-PHE 1
External SM1 to Internal M25 Thread Adapter SM1A12 1
Lens Mount for Ø1" Optics LMR1 LMR1/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 3" (75 mm) Long TR3 TR75/M 1
Multipurpose Mount
Mounting Base, 1" x 3" x 3/8" BA1 BA1/M 1
Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post, 4" (100 mm) Long TR4 TR100/M 1
General Tools
Compact Spectrometer for 200 - 1000 nm CCS200 CCS200/M 1
N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens, Ø30 mm, f = 75 mm LA1765 1
N-BK7 Plano-Convex Lens, Ø30 mm, f = 100 mm LA1031 1
SM05 Spanner Wrench, 1" Long SPW603 1
SM1 Spanner Wrench, 3.88" Long SPW602 1
Lens Tissues, 25 Sheets per Booklet, 5 Booklets MC-5 1
Slip-On Post Collar for Ø1/2" Posts, Pack of 5 R2T 2
72" USB 2.0 Type A High-Speed Extension Cable USB-C-72 3
Microscope Slides, 1 mm Thick, Pack of 200 MS10UW2 1
Cover Glass, #0 Thickness, Pack of 200 CG00C2 1
Microscopy Samples
Resolution Test Target - 1
Portrait of Ernst Abbe - 3
Plankton Sample (7073d) - 1
Diatoms Sample (Ag123c) - 1
H&E Stained Histology Slides: #317120, #317798, #318090, #316542 - 1
Fluorescent Microspheres Kit - 1
Plastic Fluorescence Slides, Set of 5 FSK5 1
Accessories
Clear Nail Polish - 1
Aluminum Foil - 1
Adhesive Printed Labels - 1
Highlighter, Multicolor Pack of 4 - 1
LED Overhead Light - 1
LED Flashlight - 1
Flexible Ruler - 1
USB Stick with Digital Kit Documentation - 1
Spectral Filter Booklet - 1
Black Rubber Dust Caps, Pack of 10 CAPM 1
Screw-On Cable Straps, Pack of 15 CS1 1
Storage
Benchtop Organizer - 1
25 Slide Holder - 1
Plastic Bin - 1

Imperial Hardware Kit

Item #a Description Qty.b Placement
BD-KIT Balldriver Kit 1 -
HKTS-3/16 3/16" Hex Key Thumbscrews, Pack of 4 1 -
SH25S050 1/4"-20 Cap Screw, 1/2" Long 8 RDF1 Breadboard Feet
SH25S038 1/4"-20 Cap Screw, 3/8" Long 5 XT34HP Dovetail Mount to RS2P Post (4) and TR4 Post to BA1 Mounting Base (1)
- 1/4"-20 Cap Screw, 5/16" Long 4 XT34HP Dovetail Mount to Right-Angle Rail Mount 
SH25S025 1/4"-20 Cap Screw, 1/4" Long 6 CS1 Strain Relief + Washers
SH8S075 8-32 Cap Screw, 3/4" Long 1 (1) Adapter to XYF1 Translation Mount
SH8S050 8-32 Cap Screw, 1/2" Long 2 Adapter to MS1S Stage
SH8S038 8-32 Cap Screw, 3/8" Long (2) SM1RC Lens Tube Clamp
SS25S050 1/4"-20 Setscrew, 1/2" Long 1 CFW6 Filter Wheel
- Thumbscrew 12 R2T Slip-On Post Collar
- 8-32 Setscrew, 1/4" Long (2) HKTS-3/16 Hex Key Thumbscrewc
- 8-32 Nylon-Tipped Setscrew, 3/16" Long (2) Setscrews in XYF1 Translation Mount
W25S050 Washer for 1/4" Cap Screw 6 CS1 Strain Relief
  • Screws may be reordered in larger quantities using these part numbers. The quantity shown in the table is the quantity of individual screws provided in the kit.
  • The number in parentheses shows the quantity of spare items included with the kit.
  • These spare setscrews are provided to secure the replaceable hex bit in the thumbscrew, which can be reversed if the tip is stripped.

Metric Hardware Kit

Item #a Description Qty.b Placement
BD-KIT/M Balldriver Kit 1 -
HKTS-5M 5 mm Hex Key Thumbscrews, Pack of 4 1 -
SH6MS12 M6 Cap Screw, 12 mm Long 8 RDF1 Breadboard Feet
SH6MS10 M6 Cap Screw, 10 mm Long 5 XT34HP Dovetail Mount to RS2P Post
(4) and TR4 Post to BA1 Mounting Base (1)
- M6 Cap Screw, 8 mm Long 4 XT34HP Dovetail Mount to Right-Angle Rail Mount
SH6MS06 M6 Cap Screw, 6 mm Long 6 CS1 Strain Relief + Washers
SH4MS20 M4 Cap Screw, 20 mm Long 1 (1) Adapter to XYF1 Translation Mount
SH4MS12 M4 Cap Screw, 12 mm Long 2 Adapter to MS1S/M Stage
SH4MS10 M4 Cap Screw, 10 mm Long (2) SM1RC Lens Tube Clamp
SS6MS12 M6 Setscrew, 12 mm Long 1 CFW6 Filter Wheel
- Thumbscrew 12 R2T Slip-On Post Collar
- 8-32 Setscrew, 1/4" Long (2) HKTS-5M Hex Key Thumbscrewc
- 8-32 Nylon-Tipped Setscrew, 3/16" Long (2) Setscrews in XYF1 Translation Mount
W25S050 Washer for M6 Cap Screw 6 CS1 Strain Relief
  • Screws may be reordered in larger quantities using these part numbers. The quantity shown in the table is the quantity of individual screws provided in the kit.
  • The number in parentheses shows the quantity of spare items included with the kit.
  • These spare setscrews are provided to secure the replaceable hex bit in the thumbscrew, which can be reversed if the tip is stripped.
Documentation
Lab Notes (Download) Course Notes (Download) Instructor Notes (Downloada) Manual (Download)
  • An abridged version of the Instructor Notes is available for download. The full version is included on the USB stick shipped with the kit or available by contacting Tech Support.

Instructional Videos for EDU-OMC1

Initial Alignment and Assembly Steps

Assembly

The Assembly video covers several important steps for setting up the rail-based microscope system, including:

  • Aligning Critical Optical Components to the Height of the Sample Camera
  • Fine Focus Adjustment for the Condenser Lens and Achromatic Objective Lens
  • Recommended Order for Placing Components on the Rail

Click Here to Download the Assembly Transcript

Köhler Illumination

Köhler Illumination

This video follows the Assembly video and shows how to achieve Köhler Illumination in three steps:

  • Focus on the Sample
  • Image the Field Stop onto of the Sample
  • Image the Lamp Filament onto the Aperture Stop

Click Here to Download the Köhler Illumination Transcript

Color Camera Setup for Back Focal Plane Imaging; Darkfield Imaging

Back Focal Plane and Darkfield

This video follows the Köhler Illumination video and introduces a second camera for imaging the back focal plane of the objective. It demonstrates how to:

  • Align the Beamsplitter and Color Camera on the Rail
  • Position the Camera to Focus on the Aperture Stop and Lamp Filament

The video also shows how to achieve a darkfield image by:

  • Inserting the Zero-Order Mask at the Objective Back Focal Plane (BFP)
  • Aligning the Mask to the Optical Axis
  • Blocking Central Illumination to Capture Only Light Scattered by the Sample

Click Here to Download the Back Focal Plane and Darkfield Transcript


Abbe's Experiments by Dr. Peter Evennett

Abbe's Experiments Video Playlist
(Click the numbered links or the three horizontal bars to see all videos in the playlist.)
The Abbe's Experiments video series, created by and provided courtesy of Dr. Peter Evennett, gives an excellent explanation of the Abbe theory of image formation, covered in Labs 6 and 7 of the course. The series consists of 9 videos:
  1. Introduction
  2. Resolution and the Objective Aperture
  3. Resolution and Wavelength
  4. Interference of Two Beams
  5. Interference and Coherence of Beams
  6. Darkfield Images
  7. Phase Contrast Technique
  8. Building an Image from the Diffraction Pattern
  9. A Journey Through the Microscope

Software Quick Start Guides

These videos provide brief tutorials for the Thorlabs software used during the course.

Quick Start Guide to ThorCam Software
Quick Start Guide to Spectrometer Software

Links to sources referenced in the Lab Notes, Course Notes, and Instructor Notes can be found here. Please help us maintain this section by reporting missing or broken links on the Feedback tab, where you can also post technical questions or user comments about this kit.

Lab Lab Notes Links Course Notes Links Instructor Notes Links
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 - -
5 -
6
7
8 -
9 -
10 Handbooks Spectra Viewer Tools Sources of Complete Dye and Light Source Spectra Information on Etendue and Light Sources Data Extraction Tool WEBVISION Book Phase Contrast Example
Appendices - Software Microscopy Websites General Optics Resources

Click on the images below to download the course materials.

Lab Notes Course Notes Instructor Notes* Manual

*Note: An abridged version of the Instructor Notes is available for download. The full version is included on the USB stick shipped with the kit or available by contacting Tech Support.

CMOS Camera Software

Version 3.3.1

The ThorCam™ software is used to control Thorlabs' CMOS cameras.

Software Download

ThorCam is a powerful image acquisition software package that is designed for use with our cameras on 32- and 64-bit Windows® 7 or 10 systems. This intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface provides camera control as well as the ability to acquire and play back images. Single image capture and image sequences are supported. Application programming interfaces (APIs) and a software development kit (SDK) are included for the development of custom applications by OEMs and developers. The SDK provides easy integration with a wide variety of programming languages, such as C, C++, C#, Python, and Visual Basic .NET. Support for third-party software packages, such as LabVIEW, MATLAB, µManager, and MetaMorph, is available.

See the Videos tab for a quick guide to the ThorCam software.

ThorCam Camera Software
Click to Enlarge

ThorCam Graphical User Interface

CCS Spectrometer Software

Version 2.9

The OSA application package is used to control Thorlabs' CCS Series Spectrometers.

Software Download

Thorlabs' CCS Series Spectrometers are controlled by our Optical Spectrum Analyzer (OSA) software package. In addition to the software package, a Communications Protocol manual is also available to provide a guide for writing custom applications to control the spectrometers. Please note that this software package is not compatible with Windows XP; for more information about using a spectrometer with Windows® XP, please contact Tech Support.

See the Videos tab for a quick guide to the OSA spectrometer software.


Click to Enlarge

OSA Graphical User Interface

Other Software

The course also uses ImageJ, which can be downloaded here, and the Slanted Edge MTF plugin, which can be downloaded here.


Daniel Fletcher, Ph.D.

Neil Switz, Ph.D.

This kit grew out of the Practical Optical Microscopy course developed at the University of California, Berkeley by Neil Switz and Daniel Fletcher. We cordially thank them for making their class materials freely available to the optics community, and for their extensive collaboration in developing this kit. Their contributions have helped facilitate and simplify the provision of rich laboratory experiences in the undergraduate optics curriculum.

Neil Switz received his Ph.D. in biophysics from UC Berkeley. He has industry experience engineering medical gas monitoring systems and starting a publicly listed microfluidics and fluorescence imaging-based biotechnology company. Neil has won multiple awards for teaching, and is now on the physics faculty at San José State University.

Dan Fletcher received his D.Phil. from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is now Chair in the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and continues to teach courses on optics, microscopy, and cell mechanics. He and his laboratory perform research on the membrane and cytoskeletal structures that animate cell movements.

Do you have ideas for an experiment that you would like to see implemented in an educational kit? Contact us at techsupport@thorlabs.com; we'd love to hear your ideas.


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