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Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre

Equipment & expertise

Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre

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Use this highly versatile state-of-the-art confocal microscope to solve all your multi-dimensional research questions. Equipped with an NLO module for deep-tissue and label-free imaging, pulsed excitation and time-resolved detection for FLIM, a spectral detector, and an AiryScan detection system for super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, the LSM880 provides a convenient solution for most of your imaging needs.

Use and training

To access this microscope, contact the facility to schedule a hands-on training session. Trained users have 24/7 access to the microscope and are free to schedule experiments using the online booking system. Training can only be given by facility staff.




HXP120V fluorescence lamp
CW Argon Laser with 458, 488 and 514nm lines
CW HeNe 543nm laser
CW HeNe 594nm laser
CW HeNe 633nm laser
Pulsed MaiTai-HPDS laser (690-1040nm)
Pulsed B&H Diode 488nm laser

Filter sets

The microscope and scanhead contain a large amount of filter turrets and exchangeable filtercube positions. The following table provides an overview of the standard filter configuration of the LSM880. In addition to these filters, the spectral detection unit (Quasar) allows filter-free selection of the detection wavelength range.

Filter overview
Position Reflector revolver MBS invisible light MBS visible light SBS emission filter Airyscan emission filter
1 FSet43 wf (red) Plate MBS 458 Mirror Plate
2 FSet49 wf (blue) None MBS 458/514 SBS BP 420-460 + LP 500 BP 420-480 + BP 495-550
3 FSet38 wf (green) MBS -405 MBS 458/543 SBS LP 525 BP 420-480 + BP 495-620
4 BS-MP 355/690+ MBS -445 MBS 458/514/594 SBS LP 570 BP 420-480 + LP 605
5 BS-MP -760 MBS 690+ MBS 488 SBS LP 660 BP 465-505 + LP 525
6 Rear MBS 760+ MBS 488/543 SBS LP 460 BP 495-535 + LP 555
7   MBS -405/760+ MBS 488/594 SBS SP 615 BP 555-620 + LP 645
8   MBS -445/760+ MBS 488/543/633 Plate None
9   MBS 405/488 MBS T80/R20    
10   MBS T80/R20 Plate    


The microscope is equipped with the following detectors:

  • Quasar unit Channel 1, S and 2, combined PMT (x2) and GaAsP (x32) detectors.
  • Airyscan unit Channel A, 32 channel GaAsP array.
  • BiG.2 unit Channel NDD, 2 filter-separated GaAsP detectors.
  • T-PMT transmission detector
  • optional: B&H HPM-100-40 GaAsP hybrid PMT. 

Objective lenses

The microscope is equipped with a variety of low- and high-magnification and NA objectives:

Objective lens overview
Objective lens Free working distance Field of view Max resolution * Immersion Remarks
EC Plan-Neofluar 10x/0.30 M27 5.2 mm 25 mm 1.07 x 11.67 µm None (air) Zeiss information page
Plan-ApoChromat 20x/0.80 M27 0.55 mm 25 mm 0.40 x 1.64 µm None (air) Zeiss information page
EC Plan Neofluar 20x/0.50 M27 2.0 mm 25 mm 0.64 x 4.20 µm None (air) Zeiss information page
LD C-Apochromat 40x/1.10 W Korr UV-VIS-IR M27 0.62 mm 25 mm 0.29 x 0.87 µm Water Zeiss information page
C-Apochromat 63x/1.20 W Korr M27 0.28 mm 25 mm 0.27 x 0.73 µm Water Zeiss information page
Plan-Apochromat 63x/1.40 Oil DIC M27 0.19 mm 25 mm 0.23 x 0.54 µm Oil Zeiss information page
Plan-Apochromat 40x/0.95 Korr 0.25 mm 25 mm 0.34 x 1.16 µm None (air) Zeiss information page

* Theoretically obtainable lateral (xy) by axial (z) resolution according to the Rayleigh resolution criterium at an emission wavelength of 525 nm.
Lateral resolution (xy) = 0.61 * wavelength / numerical aperture
Axial resolution (z) = 2 * wavelength / (numerical aperture)²

Other features

  • A PECON incubation system allowing precise control of experimental conditions (Temperature and CO2).
  • Zeiss Definite Focus system to counter axial drift during long-term experiments (e.g. timelapse).
  • B&H SPC830 card for photon counting.


Because the LSM880 is such a versatile setup, it finds use in a large selection of diverse applications, inluding:

  • live deep-tissue two-photon fluorescence microscopy (e.g. migrating cells in live tissue slices).
  • labelfree imaging (e.g. SHG imaging of the extracellular matrix).
  • fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) (e.g. the visualization of protein-protein interactions using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-FLIM).
  • fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) (e.g. studying membrane receptor mobility and interactions).
  • super-resolution airyscan imaging (e.g. precise localization of analytes in stained samples).
  • multi-dimensional confocal imaging (xyztc).
  • ...