Microscopy Techniques and Comparative Resolutions

Technique Lateral Resolution(nm) Axial Resolution(nm) Platform Fluorochrome
Widefield ~200-300 ~500-700 Widefield Standard
CLSM ~150-220 ~360-500 Confocal Standard
SIM ~100-120 ~350-400 Widefield Standard
STED ~70-90 ~100-200 Confocal Photostable
PALM ~20-50 ~10-70 Widefield Switchable
STED – lateral and axial resolutions of ~ 50nm and ~90nm can be achieved when using dyes resistent to photobleaching.

(Table adapted from: Kubalová I, Němečková A, Weisshart K, Hřibová E, Schubert V. Comparing Super-Resolution Microscopy Techniques to Analyze Chromosomes. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 14;22(4):1903. doi: 10.3390/ijms22041903. PMID: 33672992; PMCID: PMC7917581.)

Background Information on Microscopy

iBiology – presents a series of short videos on light microscopy.
Molecular Expressions – Exploring the world of optics and microscopy.
Education in Microscopy and Digital Imaging – Presented by Zeiss, a series of articles and interactive pages from basic to advanced topics in microscopy.
Microscopy U – The source for microscopy education.

Cell Analysis Resource Center

ThermoFisher Scientific – Resource for basic principles about cell analysis, applications, and techniques.