The Types of Microscopy in Technical Fields

Today, we can find various technical fields that study the smallest entities: from atoms to cells and even parasites. We use devices called microscopes to accomplish these feats. Yet, the types of microscopes vary as much as what they study.

This then gives rise to different types of microscopy. 

Microscopes magnify entire worlds invisible to the naked eye.

Learn about each of them below.

Scanning Probe Microscopy

We trace this type of microscopy’s origins to 1981 (thanks, scanning tunneling microscope!). Scanning tunneling microscopes often examine atomic particles. Scanning probe microscopy gets its name due to its probe that inspects the subject of interest.

Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer have proven to be the first people to succeed with this technique. 

This type of microscopy also allows us to capture several simultaneous images.

Electron Microscopy

Electron microscopy gathers high-resolution images for various subjects, both animate and inanimate. They form images through electrons (due to their short wavelengths). This lets us view items’ structures at the molecular level in extreme detail. 

We often use this type of microscopy in medicine and biomedical research. It highlights entities like tissues and proteins very well.

Optical Microscopy

We find optical microscopy common amongst middle and high schools. They use visible light to magnify typical objects like hairs. 

As such, optical microscopy has existed since around the 17th century (it only harnesses light and lenses to augment subjects, after all). That said, manufacturers have improved basic features like resolution and contrast to keep up with the times.

X-Ray Microscopy

X-ray microscopy works similarly to x-rays. 

This type of microscopy utilizes electromagnetic radiation to image its subjects. Thus, most subjects can remain the same, without any special or specific preparation, since x-rays can permeate most things. 

This type of microscopy also takes advantage of contrast technology to create magnified images.

Microscopy Fields and Applications

As we can tell, we have various types of microscopy that use various techniques to image various things. Some use x-ray technology, some simply use lenses. 

At any rate, microscopy captures images, so we need efficient cameras like the Swir camera to help us out. We use such microscopy and images to help us advance in the scientific fields like biology, chemistry, and physics; botany, crime, education, and medicine.

Hence, they examine things like cells; atoms; subatomic particles; nanoparticles; human hairs, tissues, and proteins; animal hairs, tissues, and proteins; alongside numerous inanimate objects like clothing. 

In short, microscopy helps us identify and consider invisible factors to solve diverse problems.

Types of Microscopy in a Nutshell

Overall, microscopy has come a long way since its inception in the late 1500s. Microscopy has evolved so much that we now have several different types of microscopy that allow us to discover new, invisible entities all of the time.

Microscopy shows us whole new worlds, gives us answers to questions (e.g., who has committed the crime?) and gives us more questions to ask (e.g., what does this cell do?). 

Got more questions on microscopy, health, or anything else (related or otherwise)? Then, check out the other articles on our website!