Monday, October 28, 2013

Laboratory Working Conditions

Setting up the ideal environment in a laboratory for microscope use is a fairly simple process. Follow these guidelines to obtain the best resolution when using your microscope as well as prolong the life of the instrument.
  • Don't work in a dimly lit room in order to better "see" microscope images.
  • If possible have the lab setup include windows with daylight for ideal image resolution.
  • If windows are not available, use overhead lighting in the lab.
  • Use a microscope with an illuminator that emits bright light with a color temperature approaching that of "daylight". Neutral filters can be used to control illumination intensity.
  • Clean dust off of eyepieces, objectives and condensers. Determine where the dust particles are located by rotating the eyepiece, the objective or the condenser. If the dust is on the particular microscope part, when you rotate it the particle will move in the field of view. 
  • Use safe cleaning solvents such as those included in a microscope cleaning kit (do not use alcohol).
  • Cover your microscope with a dust cover when not in use.
  • Color or density filters should be cleaned and stored in a place where they will not accumulate dust.
  • In humid climates the likelihood of dust to stick to optics is higher. If the lab microscope is not going to be utilized for an extended period of time wrap it tightly in plastic to protect it.
  • Keep the area around the microscope clear from clutter. It's especially easy to knock items over if you reach for something while looking through the microscope.

Research lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab