Polarized Light Microscopy

 | Post date: 2022/01/14 | 
Polarized light microscopy provides unique opportunities for analyzing the molecular order in heterogeneous systems, such as living cells and tissues, without using exogenous dyes or labels. The polarizing microscope is essentially a light microscope equipped with a linear polarizer located below the condenser and an additional polarizer mounted on top of the eyepiece. The polarizing microscope has the ability to detect anisotropic objects, such as Oriented bonds (anisotropic phase objects), Oriented chromophores (anisotropic amplitude objects), Oriented micelles (cellulose, actin fibrils, plasma membrane), etc. 

Materials fall into one of two categories. The first are materials that demonstrate the same optical properties in all directions, such as gases, liquids, and certain glasses and crystals. These are isotropic materials. Because they are optically the same in all directions, they have only one RI. Light, therefore, passes through them at the same speed with no directional restrictions.

The second category is anisotropic materials, which have optical properties that vary with the orientation of the incoming light and the optical structure of the material. About 90% of all solid materials are anisotropic. The RIs vary in anisotropic materials depending both on the direction of the incident light and on the optical structure. 

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