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A low-cost confocal microscope for the undergraduate lab

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posted on 2023-01-24, 17:00 authored by A. Reguilon, W. Bethard, E. Brekke
We demonstrate a simple and cost-efficient scanning confocal microscope setup for use in advanced instructional physics laboratories. The setup is constructed from readily available commercial products, and the implementation of a 3D-printed flexure stage allows for further cost reduction and pedagogical opportunity. Experiments exploring the thickness of a microscope slide and the surface of solid objects with height variation are presented as foundational components of undergraduate laboratory projects, and demonstrate the capabilities of a confocal microscope. This system allows observation of key components of a confocal microscope, including depth perception and data acquisition via transverse scanning, making it an excellent pedagogical resource.

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