Zeiss LSM880 NLO AiryScan

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.

Picture of a Zeiss AxioObserver Z1 microscope stand equipped with a dark PECON incubator. An LSM880 confocal microscope scanhead is attached to the rear port and a BiG.2 detector unit is attached to the right side port.. Picture of a Zeiss AxioObserver Z1 microscope stand equipped with a dark PECON incubator. An LSM880 confocal microscope scanhead is attached to the rear port and a BiG.2 detector unit is attached to the right side port..

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.


Thank you for acknowledging our imaging facility. You can use the statement below in all your publications that include data acquired on the Zeiss LM880:

We acknowledge the Advanced Optical Microscopy Centre at Hasselt University for support with the microscopy experiments. Microscopy was made possible by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO, project G0H3716N).



  • 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
  • Pulsed PicoQuant Diode 440nm 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.

Reflector revolver

MBS invisible light

MBS visible light

SBS emission filter

Airyscan emission filter


FSet43 wf (red)


MBS 458




FSet49 wf (blue)


MBS 458/514

SBS BP 420-460 + LP500

BP 420-460 + BP 495-550


FSet38 wf (green)

MBS -405

MBS 458/543

SBS LP 525

BP 420-480 + BP 495-620


BS-MP 355/690+

MBS -445

MBS 458/514/594

SBS LP 570

BP 420-480 + LP 605



MBS 690+

MBS 488

SBS LP 660

BP 465-505 + LP 525



MBS 760+

MBS 488/543

SBS LP 460

BP 495-535 + LP 555


MBS -405/760+

MBS 488/594

SBS SP 615

BP 555-620 + LP 645


MBS -445/750+

MBS 488/543/633




MBS 405/488

MBS T80/R20


MBS T80/R20




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

Free working distance

Max resolution *



EC Plan-Neofluar 10x/0.30 M27

5.2 mm

1.07 x 11.67 µm

None (air)

Zeiss information page

Plan-ApoChromat 20x/0.80 M27

0.55 mm

0.40 x 1.64 µm

None (air)

Zeiss information page

EC Plan Neofluar 20x/0.50 M27

2.0 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

0.29 x 0.87 µm


Zeiss information page

C-ApoChromat 63x/1.20 W Korr M27

0.28 mm

0.27 x 0.73 µm


Zeiss information page

Plan-ApoChromat 63x/1.40 Oil DIC M27

0.19 mm

0.23 x 0.54 µm


Zeiss information page

Plan-ApoChromat 40x/0.95 Korr M27

0.25 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

FLIM equipment

  • Available wavelengths: 440nm, 488nm and 690-1040nm.
  • BiG.2 detector for simultaneous dual channel readout.
  • HPM-100-40 Hybrid detector.
  • PicoQuant PDL 800-D laser controller and pulse sync driver.
  • PicoQuant MultiHarp 150 multichannel Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCPSC) device for lifetime recordings during FLIM and FLIM-FRET experiments.
  • Dedicated workstation with SymphoTime64, including a 'handshake' with LSM880 control for convenient recording and analysis of lifetime information.

Documentation about Phasor analysis: Find more information here.

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).


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

  • 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).
  • ...



Sam Duwé - AOMC

Agoralaan, Building C, 3590 Diepenbeek
Microscopy expert