We have a variety of optical microscopes for use in different experiments.
We have an Olympus IX71 inverted optical microscope that is used for high magnification TIRF. It is equipped with high speed, low noise cameras: a Hamamatsu C9100-14 EM-CCD camera and a Hamamatsu ORCA-Flash4.0 sCMOS camera. It can be used with the Agilent 5500 SPM.
We use an Olympus BX-60 reflected light optical microscope equipped with bright-field (BF), dark-field (DF), fluorescence and differential interference contrast (DIC) modes of operation. A QImaging Retiga EXi CCD camera with an in-line LCD colour filter is used to capture high-resolution colour optical micrographs using Image Pro Plus, an industry standard image analysis software package. We also have a custom-built hot stage (temperatures up to 573K) and a Linkam THMS 600 hot stage (temperatures up to 600K) that allow for in situ studies of polymeric and biopolymeric systems at elevated temperatures.
We have two Nikon TE2000 inverted optical microscopes, one with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) capability. One of the microscopes is used with the Asylum MFP-3D scanning probe microscope, and the other is used with the custom-built optical tweezers facility.
For an excellent summary of optical microscopy techniques, please refer to Molecular Expressions Microscopy Primer.