As the years have gone by, several procedures have been recommended to maintain microscope quality but many users still are not sure what is the best way to go about it. A better cleaning method changes depending on the optical surface as well as the substance that needs to be removed as studies on a microscope in Singapore has shown.
If a microscope remains unused over a long period of time the quality of images produced by it will reduce as will the quality of a microscope that is used on a regular basis since contaminants build up and may not fully clear up when cleaned. Some of the dirt may sometimes come from the environment, like dust, but other times contaminants are introduced by the people who use the microscope in areas in contact with the body such as eyelashes, hands, and areas where moisture is captured by breathing on it over time. Problem areas include:
- Both sides of the coverslip
- The outside of the front lens of the objective
- The microscope slide
- Glass surfaces that come into contact with the hands in the path or the light
- The upper lens of the condenser
- Both surfaces of the eyepiece
- The reticule’s upper surface
- The outer glass coverings where light exits
- The protective cover and surface of the camera sensor
The front lens of the objective is more sensitive to light than other optical surfaces as is the optical elements near or at the conjugate field. Objects seem to appear in sharp focus when imposed to the specimen image. The higher quality the optical components are, the more the blemishes are likely to interfere with the findings.
For all the dry objectives, a greater danger of soiling the lens at the front is presented when the free working distance and surface area of the concave front lens happen to be smaller. The immersion objectives front lens needs to be cleaned and its residue removed before applying fresh immersion fluid to prevent blurred images from new and old intermission fluid mixing. Even though the fluid’s use is necessary for peak performance, improper use or failing to remove it immediately after each use can lead to serious contamination of specimen and may cause damage to the microscope and improper findings.
Microscopes with digital cameras may find the images produced degrading in image quality because of contamination on filter elements used in the adapter of the camera and on the optical glass window put in to seal the housing of the camera and protect the charge coupled device or the complementary metal oxide semiconductor. If dark specs can be seen in digital images that are not on the specimen plane, the most likely cause is contamination on the image sensor or any other filter service as shown in the microscope in Singapore and other product studies carried out. The manufacturer’s recommendations about cleaning the microscopes should be taken into consideration while cleaning it and the cameras whenever dirt is on them.
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