Absorption Imaging from the UV to SWIR
Standard microscopes are used for increasing the capabilities of the human eye (i.e. magnifying samples for observation), and so they are designed with the visible spectrum in mind, using glass optics and substrates as well as light sources limited to visible wavelengths (~400-700 nm). However, samples are not limited to only the visible wavelengths for absorption of light. To better analyze samples outside of the visible wavelengths, CRAIC Technologies has developed a unique microscope featuring quartz optics and broadband light sources for high resolution imaging from the deep UV (200 nm) out to the NIR and SWIR (2,500 nm). Microscopic protein crystals are just one example. They are transparent in the visible range but can be easily seen at 280 nm due to the strong absorbance of certain amino acids. Another advantage is in semiconductor metrology, where the longer wavelengths are not absorbed in the silicon substrates, but do interact with other compounds and layers. This allows for non-destructive imaging inside of bonded silicon wafer and other semiconductor devices!
Another major advantage beyond the significantly larger spectral range is in terms of the increased spatial resolution possible by utilizing the shorter wavelengths. By decreasing the imaging wavelength from the visible with an average of 550 nm to the deep UV at 250 nm, the resolving power is increased by over 2X! This often allows for visualizing smaller features that are ~200 nm in diameter without the use of immersion oils.
Learn more about UV-VIS-NIR-SWIR microscopes: