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McCrone Articles & Resources

McCrone Research Institute is pleased to offer free articles and other resources of interest to microscopists from all areas of light and electron microscopy. Visit this page regularly for new articles and other helpful content.

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Featured Articles

Breaking the Myths of Microscopy
Most of what we’re told about the origins of light microscopy is wrong. Here is the surprising truth: In the two centuries before the modern achromatic microscope was born, all the groundwork had been laid. The first microscopists are often viewed as amateurs who got lucky with their handmade microscopes, but it was they who developed the techniques used today. Read article (PDF)

Contrast Methods in Microscopy: Rheinberg Illumination
A color contrast method uses colored discs near the aperture focal plane of the condenser to provide a colored specimen on a colored background. Almost any microscope can be modified to generate this style of imaging. The Rheinberg technique is a modification of the darkfield method of illumination, and the color contrast enhances the visibility of specimens and their texture. Read article (PDF)

Cleaning a Microscope’s Field Diaphragm
If you have ever looked closely at a field diaphragm or taken one apart, you will notice that it is a complicated puzzle, and careful attention needs to be paid to exactly where things go. One leaf out of place and it will no longer be functional. We were a bit apprehensive about removing the field diaphragms, dumping out all of the leaves and trying to put them back together. Many have tried, few have succeeded! Read article (PDF)


Forensic Applications of Foraminifera
How to Make a Residue-Free Particle Disperser
Make Your Own Central-Stop Dispersion Staining Objective
Investigation of Foreign Substances in Food


McCrone’s instructional videos on YouTube cover all aspects of light microscopy and microanalysis, including polarized light microscopy, microchemical analysis, microscope design and use, polymorphism, dispersion staining, and more.
WATCH NOW: Dispersion Staining — McCrone Online Learning Session (May 22, 2020)
WATCH NOW: Microchemistry Fundamentals — McCrone Online Learning Session (May 1, 2020)

Books and Lab Resources

Select a link to learn more and view/download free PDFs:

The Optical Properties of Organic Compounds (Winchell)

A Short History of the Early American Microscopes (Padgitt)

A Modern Compendium of Microcrystal Tests for Illicit Drugs and Diverted Pharmaceuticals (McCrone Research Institute)

McCrone Michel-Lévy Chart of Birefringences (McCrone Research Institute)

McCrone Dispersion Staining Color Chart and Blank Graph (McCrone Research Institute)

View all McCrone Publications, including microscopy books and The Microscope journal.

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