The majority of microscope objectives are designed to image through a 170 micron thick glass coverslip.  When you purchase coverslips, you will find that they come with a grade number that indicates the glass thickness – for example, No. 1, No. 1.5, No. 2.  You should ALWAYS choose grade No. 1.5 coverslips, as they are the most appropriate thickness for optical microscopy.  Using the wrong thickness of coverslip introduces spherical aberration into your images, decreasing intensity and resolution.  The coverslips and coverslip-bottom dishes below are appropriate for optical microscopy.

Ibidi Dishes

We do not allow Ibidi polymer coverslip dishes in the core.  These dishes are not capable with Nikon immersion oil – the dishes melt/crack when exposed to Nikon (and many other brands/types) of immersion oil and may damage our lenses. If you are using any Ibidi brand dishes, please confirm with Team NIC that they are safe to use on our scopes!

Standard Coverslips

For routine applications:

For single molecule imaging or super-resolution microscopy:

Chambered Coverslips

  •  Thermo Scientific™ Nunc™ Lab-Tek™ II Chambered Coverglass with #1.5 coverslip bottoms: Part numbers 155409 (8 wells),  155382 (4 wells), 155379 (2 wells), and 155360 (1 well)

Single Well Coverslip-Bottom Dishes

  • MatTek Corporation 35 mm round dishes with #1.5 coverslip bottoms: Part number P35G-1.5-14-C
  • World Precision Instruments 35mm round FluoroDish™ with #1.5 coverslip bottoms: Part number FD35-100

Multiple Well Coverslip-Bottom Plates

  • MatTek Corporation Multi-Well Plates with #1.5 coverslip bottoms: Part number P06G-1.5-14-F (6 wells), P12G-1.5-14-F (12 wells), P24G-1.5-13-F (24 wells), P48G-1.5-6-F (48 wells), and P96G-1.5-5-F (96 wells)
  • PerkinElmer ViewPlate-96, a continuous 96-well glass bottom dish: Part number 6005430

Cleaning Coverslips

Out of the box, coverslips are filthy at the microscopic level – even if they are marked “pre-cleaned”.  We highly recommend you clean all of your coverslips before using, especially for high resolution imaging.  Nothing destroys image quality quicker than a dirty coverslip!

Standard cleaning protocol:

  • Take No. 1.5 coverslips out of box one at a time and drop into a solution of hot tap water with glassware detergent in a large beaker.  If you dump the whole box in at once, the majority will stick together and not be cleaned.
  • Sonicate for 30 mins.
  • Rinse for several mins with hot tap water, then 5x with ddH2O. Sonicate for at least 15 mins in the final ddH2O rinse.
  • Rinse 2x with 70% EtOH, sonicating each time for at least 15 mins. Repeat with 100% EtOH. Store in EtOH.

For acid-washed coverslips (good for growing cells on):

  • Begin with the protocol above, but skip the EtOH cleaning steps (for now)
  • Heat coverslips in a loosely covered glass beaker in 1M HCl in dH2O at 50- 60C for 4-16 hours. Allow to cool.
  • Wash extensively in dH2O, then ddH2O.
  • Now do the EtOH cleaning steps described above.