Fluorescence microscopy is an imaging technique that is often employed in medical research and biological applications. The technique uses fluorescence and phosphorescence in addition to, or instead of absorption or reflection to study the properties of a substance. Fluorescence microscopy is a popular technique as fluorescence has extremely high sensitivity and specificity, which helps to provide the most accurate results.
The technique is used to detect fluorescence signals that are 1000 times weaker than scattered light, and the scatter light is 1000 times weaker than the light that illuminates the sample. As such a week signal needs to be detected using fluorescence microscopy, the use of high quality, highly accurate optical filters is essential.
Excitation and Emission in Fluorescence Microscopy
Fluorescence microscopes are based around a set of optical filters, including an excitation and emission filter and a dichroic mirror.
The excitation filter is used to select the specific wavelengths used to excite certain dyes in the sample, and the emission filter only allows certain wavelengths important to the measurement to pass through. The excitation and emission filters must have very steep edges to ensure the absorption and emission peaks are separated because absorption and emission spectra of the dyes are closely located and often overlap.
As fluorescence microscopy uses the two wavelength bands of excitation and emission, optical specificity can be increased considerably with the choice of filters that are beneficial for the excitation and emission of particular fluorophore dyes.
Optical Filters from Delta Optical Thin Film
Delta Optical Thin Film began manufacturing fluorescence filters for fluorescence microscopy in the early 1970s, and in the 1990s we became the first company to implement computer controlled deposition.
This deposition control software, combined with our own unique synthesis allows us to provide coatings for optical filters that are made with plasma assisted e-beam evaporation technology. The quality of our optical filters for fluorescence microscopy is equal to that achieved with IBS and other similar technologies.
Delta Optical Thin Film have decades of experience in developing and manufacturing optical filters for fluorescence microscopy, and we are now the world biggest supplier of high-performance fluorescence filter sets to the market leaders in manufacturing fluorescence microscopes.