Skip to main content

Confocal microscopes

More Information

About the Confocal microscopes

Our confocal microscopes provide high magnification and high resolution imaging.

The principle difference between confocal microscopy and conventional widefield fluorescence microscopy is that images are comprised of stacks of sections of a discrete thickness. These can be used for 3D microscopy.

Sections of a known thickness are also superior for making quantitative measurements such as protein expression. Confocal microscopes are also slightly higher resolution than conventional widefield microscopes, and provide a sharper, higher SNR image.

Part of: Imaging and microscopy centre

Technical specification

Leica STELLARIS Confocal microscope

  • white light laser providing a continuous choice of excitation wavelengths  into NIR (485-790 nm)
  • 405 nm CW laser
  • 448 nm CW laser
  • 5 x “Power HyD” GaAsp detectors, allowing up to 5 channel simultaneous imaging when used with additional NIR capability
  • “super-resolution” confocal to 120 nm resolution.
  • 10x, 0.4, N.A.
  • 20x, 0.75, N.A.
  • 40x, 1.25, N.A., Glycerol with motorised correction collar
  • 63x, 1.4, N.A., Oil

“TauSense” uses fluorescence lifetime detection for additional fluorophore separation, or distinct gating of overlapping signals into separate channels dependent on their lifetime, for example autofluorescence.

Changes in a fluorophores nano-environment can also be measured using fluorescence lifetime e.g. FRET of interacting molecules, pH etc.

  • transmitted light
  • DIC
  • hardware autofocus
  • simultaneous fluorescence acquisition
  • sequential fluorescence acquisition 
  • mark and find
  • motorised stage with Tile Scan (stitch multiple FOV together)
  • time-lapse
  • photo-kinetics
  • FLIM
  • NIR Imaging
  • lambda-scan/spectral channel un-mixing

2 x Leica SP8 AOBS Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes

Modality and resolution
  • CLSM - 200 nm
  • DIC - 250 nm
Magnification, numerical aperture and immersion
  • 10x, 0.5, air
  • 20x, 0.7, air
  • 40x, 1.3, oil
  • 63x, 1.3, glycerol
Specimen format
  • standard glass slide
  • 35 mm coverslip bottom dish
  • coverslip bottom chamber-slide
  • optical bottom multi-well plate
  • confocal 1: 2 x PMT (photomultiplier tube), 1 x “HyD” GaAsP detector
  • confocal 2: 1 x PMT, 2 x “HyD” GaAsP detector
Excitation laser λ
  • 405 nm  (nano meters)  
  • 458 nm    
  • 476 nm    
  • 488 nm    
  • 496 nm    
  • 514 nm    
  • 561 nm    
  • 594 nm    
  • 633 nm   
Emission filters
  • 3 x Spectral Detectors. Any λ/Bandwidth from 400-800 nm. 
Fluorescence acquisition
  • simultaneous fluorescence acquisition of up to 3 channels
  • sequential fluorescence acquisition is unlimited
Other features
  • transmitted light
  • differential interference contrast (DIC)
  • time lapse
  • photo-kinetics
  • 3D imaging

3D specimen penetration is less than 100 μm.

The microscope does not have hardware autofocus. It has environmental temperature and gas control and a motorised stage with tile scan (stitch multiple FOV together).

It also offers mark and find and lambda-scan and spectral channel un-mixing.

Contact us

Dr Mark Willett


Building 85, Highfield Campus, Southampton SO17 1BJ
We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 UK time.