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Thermo Fisher Scientific

Differential interference contrast (optional)

Your microscope can be configured  with differential interference contrast (DIC) capabilities. 

DIC is an optical technique that uses Wollaston prisms and crossed polarizers to enhance contrast and visibility in otherwise transparent samples, such as layered laminates, unstained biological samples, or certain polymers. 

Performing DIC is only possible if your microscope has been specifically configured with that capability by Thermo Fisher Scientific. For more information, contact us.

The DIC technique can only be used in Transmission mode. Additionally, the DIC optics will only work with the 15x IR visible objective and condenser.

To perform DIC

1. Illuminate and bring a sample into focus, then capture a 15x mosaic. For more information, see the Move the stage and bring the sample into focus and Capture a mosaic sections. When the reflection and condenser image are properly focused, the view will show a bright light.

You can use the manual iris on the lower right side of the microscope; when the condenser is at the proper focus, the edges of the iris will appear sharp.

2. Select the polarizer function on the right end of the Camera View menu. Turn on the visual polarizer and ensure that the No Analyzer check box at the bottom is unchecked (you will need the analyzer). Set the polarizer to 90° and the analyzer to 180°.

The camera view should go dark, indicating that the polarizers have been crossed at a 90° angle. Make sure to check the Link dials box to ensure they remain linked. For more information, see Using the polarizer.

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3.  Gently place the first Wollaston prism into the bottom slot near the base of your unit. The prism may require firm pressure to insert. It should fit firmly and go all the way in until there is resistance. 

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4. Loosen the microscope nose piece thumbscrew. This will allow the second Wollaston prism to slide past the indentations. Slide the prism into the nose piece (indent side up) until it stops, then secure the prism by gently tightening the thumbscrew.

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5. Inserting the DIC optics into the microscope will darken your sample image. To remedy this, increase illumination in the software (turning it up to 5 is recommended). 

6. Use your fingers to rotate the Wollaston prisms and manipulate the sample image. This will result in visible color changes to give you higher visibility of your sample with a three-dimensional effect. You can also record mosaics or single frame captures of the resulting image. 

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