Nikon intros microscope objectives for live cell imaging

June 9, 2011
The CFI60 Plan Apochromat Lambda Series microscope objectives from Nikon Instruments feature proprietary Nano-Crystal Coat technology, enabling a high transmission rate across wavelengths as high as 750 nm or greater.

The CFI60 Plan Apochromat Lambda Series microscope objectives from Nikon Instruments (Melville, NY) feature proprietary Nano-Crystal Coat technology, enabling a high transmission rate across wavelengths as high as 750 nm or greater. The objectives reduce photo-toxic damage to live cells to yield long-term confocal, widefield, or super-resolution multispectral imaging, and correct chromatic aberrations over 435 to 850 nm. An acute top lens design provides access for cell manipulations.

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Nikon Employs Unique Nano-Crystal Coat Technology for Increased Light Transmission at Critical Wavelengths for Live Cell imaging

MELVILLE, N.Y. April 29, 2011 – Nikon Instruments, Inc. ( today introduced its CFI60 Plan Apochromat Lambda Series objectives, now employing Nikon’s proprietary Nano-Crystal Coat technology to dramatically increase the transmission rate of this series across a broad spectrum range. This unique coating helps reduce flare and produce bright, sharp, high-contrast images across the entire range of wavelengths – from ultraviolet to near infrared of 750nm or greater.

This series of objectives minimizes photo-toxic damage to live cells and enables long-term imaging due to their ability to maximize emission brightness with minimum excitation intensity – a great step forward for scientists working in light sensitive and low light situations.

Nano-Crystal Coat: Nikon’s Superlative Coating Technology

With its origins in Nikon's semiconductor manufacturing technology, Nano-Crystal Coat is an anti-reflective coating. These crystallized nano-particles eliminate ghost effects caused by red light and effectively reduce flare effects, enhancing S/N (Signal to Noise) caused by light entering the lens at steep angles. This property becomes most striking for the highest NA lenses, which accept the steepest angles of light, producing the highest resolution.

Additionally, unprecedented high resolution with a high NA can be achieved at any magnification. For example, the CFI Plan Apo Lambda 100x oil objective has an incredibly high NA of 1.45, enabling the capture of crystal clear images of minute structures. In addition, the exceptional brightness of all the lenses in the series minimizes the excitation light to reduce the effects of photobleaching.

“We are confident that the unique advantages afforded by the CFI Plan Apochromat Lambda Series will help fuel discovery by life scientists, as they can now visualize the minute structures and dynamics of living cells and organisms as never before,” said Stephen Ross, General Manager, Product and Marketing Department, Nikon Instruments, Inc. “We understand the critical need to observe live cells for extended periods of time without damage, which continues to be one of the biggest challenges in the biological sciences to address key questions. This series of objectives will help to address that critical need.”

Increased Functionality for Better Imaging

The objectives also correct chromatic aberrations over a wide wavelength range, extending from 435nm to 850nm so crystal clear images are captured during multi-wavelength imaging. By correcting the focus shift for all wavelengths, the focus point is maintained when switching between dyes. Scientists can have greater confidence in the conclusions drawn from co-localization data when visualizing the structure and functions within a living specimen using multiple fluorescence proteins in confocal, widefield, or super resolution multi-spectral imaging.

Image flatness is maintained across the entire field of view for all objectives from low to high magnifications because of Nikon’s outstanding optical design technology. The Lambda series objectives also has a more acute top lens design, which offers more clearance around the top to make them less likely to interfere with the specimen chamber, and to provide access for cell manipulations.

A Record of Innovation

In 1976, Nikon first introduced the CF Series of objectives. These products corrected chromatic aberrations within the objective, paving the way for chromatically corrected images to be sent to the film or detector plane. In 1996, this ground breaking concept was extended to the CFI60 Series of objectives. Nikon offered the highest numerical aperture, longest working distance objectives, the world had ever seen in an infinity-corrected system.

Now this newest series continues this rich history of innovation. The 13 new objectives will all be available by May, and some already available for purchase. For more information please visit


Posted by Lee Mather

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