Polarization Microscopy – University of Copenhagen

CFIM > Services > Light microscopes > Polarized LM

Polarization microscopy

Polarization microscopy is a contrast technique taking advantage of the optical properties of birefringent materials like bone, collagen, tendons... Birefringent objects interact differently with light depending its polarization and orientation creating contrast in the sample. Polarised light microscopy does not require any staining but works only with anisotropic samples. 

The microscope will be added soon to the booking system. Contact CFIM if you'd like to have it added to your list of possible microscopes.


Brightfield microscope equipped for polarization microscopy


AxioCam 506

6Mpx colour camera.



Zeiss Axiolab.A1

Stage Manual rotating stage

Zeiss Zen Blue 2012

Illumination Transmitted light


Polarized light with linear or circular polarization


Objective Mag. / NA Medium Specifications Scaling*
N-Achroplan 5x / 0.15 Pol Air ∞ / - 0.908µm/pix
N-Achroplan 10x / 0.25 Pol Air ∞ / - 0.454µm/pix
N-Achroplan 20x / 0.45 Pol Air ∞ / 0.17 0.227µm/pix
N-Achroplan 50x / 0.8 Pol Air ∞ / 0.17 0.0908µm/pix

* As the nosepiece is manual, the recorded images have no scaling information. The values here were both measured from images of a stage micrometer and calculated from the hardware specifications.


Brightfield microscopy

transmitted illumination for non-fluorescent stainings such as HE, ISH...

Section of a tongue. Click on the image to open in full size.

Polarization microscopy

birefringent samples interact with polarized light differently. 

Same section as above, in polarized light microscopy. The muscles appear in different colour depending on their orientation. Click on the image to open in full size.