Microscopes with polarizers are a crucial tool to modulate light and use it to study materials in many different ways. Dino-Lite polarizing digital microscopes have been designed to reduce glare, view subsurface layers, and improve image contrast.

When used with a backlight polarizer, users are also able to detect mechanical stress, as well as identify optically anisotropic materials. Dino-Lite polarizing microscopes are used in a wide range of fields, including forensics, manufacturing, health, mineralogy, research, and biology. 

Polarized Light Microscopes 

Traditionally, most polarized light microscopes are equipped with two polarizers to produce the linearly polarized light and create different light polarization configurations. One polarizer is placed in front of the light source to polarize the light. The other polarizer is placed between the target and camera sensor or observation tube that will block or pass the light reflected or transmitted by the target. 

Polarized light microscopes can create different polarization configurations that depend on the relative orientation between polarizers: parallel polarization is for polarizers that are oriented parallel to each other, and cross polarization is the configuration for polarizers that are oriented perpendicular to each other. Depending on the polarization configuration and the interaction of incident light with the target, light will be transmitted or blocked. 

Design of Dino-Lite Polarizing Digital Microscopes

Dino-Lite polarizing digital microscopes are equipped with an adjustable and a fixed polarizer, as shown in the picture below. The adjustable polarizer, positioned in front of the Dino-Lite’s LEDs, polarizes the microscope light source. The fixed polarizer, placed behind the lens of the Dino-Lite, polarizes the light between the target and the camera sensor.

The degree of orientation between polarizers can be controlled by rotating the wheel of the adjustable polarizer. The rotating wheel has an arrow that points at the current degree of orientation between polarizers with “0” being parallel polarization and “90” being cross polarization. 

Dino-Lite polarizing digital microscope in its parallel and cross polarized configurations.

Applications of Dino-Lite Polarizing Digital Microscopes

Reducing glare and inspection of glass and other materials

Glare hinders inspections in a broad range of applications. Dino- Lite polarizing digital microscopes can reduce the glare for clearer images.

Any user inspecting materials with flat surfaces or surfaces covered with grease, oil, or liquids will benefit from using Dino-Lite polarizing digital microscopes.

Circuit board under parallel (left) and cross polarization (right) clearly shows a reduction of glare when cross-polarized.
Identify and characterize optically anisotropic materials 

By combining a BL-ZW1 backlight polarizer and a Dino-Lite polarizing digital microscope, observers can identify and characterize optically anisotropic materials. 

Crystals, many plastics, and biological tissues are some examples of optically anisotropic materials that are studied with Dino-lite polarizing digital microscopes. 

Inspection of a thin section under parallel (left) and cross polarization (right) with BL-ZW1 backlight polarizer and Dino-Lite polarizing microscope.

Viewing upper and lower layers of the skin

The upper layer of the skin reflects light preserving its polarization while the lower layers scatter and randomize the polarization.

As a result, parallel polarization emphasizes the upper layers of the skin, and cross polarization emphasizes the subsurface skin layers.

Parallel polarization image (left) emphasizes the upper layer of the skin while the cross polarization image (right) emphasizes the lower layers.

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