11 Different Types of Microscopes and Their Uses

A microscope is a very interesting scientific instrument used to see objects that are tiny in size and way too small to be seen by the naked eye.

Different Types of Microscopes

This is a field of science where the study of the microscope is known as microscopy, and in this, you investigate small objects and structures using an instrument called a microscope.

This instrument makes it a lot easier for people to see unseen objects quite clearly with an enlarged view as well.

Whether a thing is living or nonliving, you can see it through a microscope, and for different views, features, and perceptions, there are different types of microscopes out there.

Let us guide you to get a detailed overview of the different kinds of microscopes and their uses:

Depending on the needs and resources of people, these useful devices, known as the microscopes, are quite helpful for most scientific reasons.

There are many scientists, doctors, researchers, biologists and students out there who need microscopes on a daily basis of different kinds as well.

From basic to a completely advanced level, we have picked out 11 types of microscopes for you, so keep on reading to find out more:

1. Simple Microscope

As the name suggests, simple microscopes are the basic ones out there mostly used by students or microscopes for beginners and people who cannot afford many expensive instruments for research.

Anyhow these are the one of a kind and a quite old invention, tracing back to the 17th century!

Simple microscopes were invented by a great researcher and scientist Antony Leeuwenhoek, and it has only a magnifying feature because of a mixture of convex lenses installed in.

Also, these microscopes are not used a lot by people nowadays, but they can essentially provide you a difference between shapes or blood cells and an overview of biological specimens.

2. Compound Microscopes

Compound microscopes are also known as optical microscopes because light has to pass through the lens in order to reflect and show the specimen clearly to reach the viewer’s eye.

These types of microscopes are used a lot by students, especially in schools and colleges, and also by many doctors and researchers in order to observe specimens all the time.

The compound microscope is lightweight and easy to carry around. That is the reason people find comfort in using those, and they also provide good usage, so they are a perfect choice.

3. Electron Microscopes

A transmission electron microscope fires a beam of electrons through a ray of the specimen to produce a magnified image of an object.

A high voltage electricity supply powers the cathode, and it is obviously a heated filament, a bit like the electron gun in an old fashioned (CRT) TV.

It doesn’t need any other means to work other than electrons, and in return, it creates a very defined and detailed image on the screens of the specimen.

4. Scanning Electron Microscopes

A scanning electron microscope is a type of microscope that produces images of a sample by initially scanning the surfaces with a focused beam of electrons.

The electrons, in turn, collide with the atoms in the sample, producing various signals that have information about the topography and composition of the surface given by the sample.

Their magnification strengths are huge and offer reliable digital images that can give you good information.

5. Stereo Microscopes

With these microscopes, you can look through many samples because this microscope provides 3D images or a stereo image typically and will provide magnification between 10x-40x.

This microscope is used by manufacturers for quality control insurance and high school dissection projects etc.

It will provide both transmitted and reflected illumination and used to go through a sample that doesn’t allow light to pass through it.

6. Inverted Microscopes

Biological inverted microscopes are mainly used to observe live cells or organisms at the bottom of a petri dish or tissue culture flask.

These microscopes provide a bright field, phase contrast, or epifluorescence and are mostly used in micromanipulation applications.

Inverted microscopes apply where space above the specimen is required for manipulator mechanisms and the micro tools they hold, and in metallurgical applications where specifically polished samples can be placed on top of the stage and observed.

7. Polarizing Microscopes

These microscopes use polarized light alongside transmitted illumination to observe different types of chemicals, rocks, and minerals.

Many geologists, chemists, petrologists, and the pharmaceutical industries utilize these microscopes on a daily basis and cannot function without them.

These microscopes come with two main components that are known as the analyzers and polarizers.

While the analyzer determines the quantity of light and direction that is lighting up the sample, the polarizer determines wavelengths of light on a plane.

8. Confocal Microscopes

A very strange thing about the confocal microscopes is that they are not like other usual microscopes at all in both structural and functional perspectives.

They use a laser light to scan samples that have to be dyed in order to display properly, and these specimens have to be prepared on slides and then combined with a dichromatic mirror without a single drop of air bubble between them.

The device will then give a proper image result on the computer screens, and by using multiple scans, you will be able to create three-dimensional images.

9. Transmission Electron Microscope

Just like the other electron microscopes, the TEM also uses electron carriers to operate, but unlike the others, these microscopes need a slide preparation to produce a 2D overview of the samples and provide a much clearer image with some degree of transparency.

A very high degree of magnification and resolution is offered by the transmission electron microscope, so it does the job well done.

10. X-Ray Microscopes

If you want to discover the depths of a hard object that is too opaque to be seen deeply by a regular microscope, then you need an X-ray microscope to do the job.

It penetrates through the matter and finds the internal structure of specimens such as bones, rocks, and minerals, etc.

They can be used in any place and any time without any preparations as such, and they can also be used to discover any specimen for the fact.

11. Scanning Acoustic

These microscopes are highly expensive and are used mostly to determine an image of the internal structures of specimens without causing any damage.

Optical and electronic devices can be easily inspected through the acoustic microscopes, and they need to be dunked underwater to get prepared to get accustomed to the sound waves.


So this is your complete guide to the top 11 microscopes used by people almost daily around the world for various reasons.

If you were looking for a detailed overview of microscopes then we hope your day is made and you got what you were looking for.

Written By
More from Paul Jackson
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *