Slides designed to hold samples in place for examination with a microscope; available in glass, plastic, and quartz; also includes products for preparing, staining, storing, and transporting slides.
Microscope slides are usually made of soda lime or borosilicate glass with ground or polished edges. Some are made from specialty plastics, and fused quartz is sometimes used for fluorescence microscopy.
Standard microscope slides measure approx.75 x 25 mm (3 x 1 in.) and are 1 mm thick. Other special purpose sizes are available:
- 75 x 50 mm for geological use
- 46 x 27 mm for petrographic studies
- 48 x 28 mm for thin sections
Specialized slides are available in addition to standard, plain slides:
- Concavity or cavity slides: Have one or more shallow depressions or wells to hold thicker objects, liquids, and tissue cultures
- Rounded corners: For increased safety or for use with a slide clamp or cross-table
- Graticule slides: Marked with a grid for counting reference or size estimates
- Frosted or enamel-coated: For labeling
- Coated: For chemical inertness, enhanced cell adhesion
Microscope coverslips can be glued to the slide to preserve the specimen, slow drying, and prevent contamination. Commercial sealants, laboratory preparations, clear nail polish, or other adhesives can be used.
Coverslips are available in various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses; the thickness can affect image resolution and intensity.
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