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Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) and its application to fossil dinoflagellate cysts

2. What is CLSM and how does it work?

CLSM is a conventional microscope which is equipped with
- a laser light source,
- the laser scanning head,
- an automatic focusing stage,
connected to a monitor and PC.

Operation is possible in two modes: in reflected light or in fluorescence mode.

The confocal arrangement of an illumination pinhole and a conjugated detector pinhole ensures that only information from the focal plane reaches the detector. Using this arrangement images of objects with a resolution up to 1.4 x higher than in a non-confocal system can be obtained.

The confocal principle (Leica Confocal Microscopy)