Contents start

March 26, 2004
Olympus Launches Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope "OLS 3000"
World's Highest*1 Resolution of 0.12µm
by Adopting the System Optimized for 408nm Semiconductor Lasers
and Allows for Color 3D Observations
Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope "OLS 3000"
Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope "OLS 3000"
The information contained in this news release applies only to the Japanese market.
Olympus Corporation (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) is pleased to announce the launch of confocal laser scanning microscope "OLS 3000" on January 26, 2004, which accomplishes the world's highest resolution of 0.12µm with a newly developed optical system and allows for color 3D observations by integrating an optical system used for optical microscopes into the laser system.
Confocal laser scanning microscopes are receiving increasing attention year by year as equipment that allows for observations of three-dimensional shapes, such as high-density semiconductors and micro-fabricated MEMS. The "OLS 3000" is a new product with a higher accuracy achieved by adding the results of various kinds of research and development to the Olympus confocal laser scanning microscope "OLS 1200" released in August 2002. With this new product, we will provide better solutions to users in the electronic components, new materials and MEMS markets.
The "OLS 3000" will be exhibited at the Semicon Japan 2003 which is due to be held at Makuhari Messe International Conference Hall on December 3 to 5.
Creation of New Brand "LEXT"
With the introduction of "OLS3000", Olympus created a new brand named "LEXT" in the lineup of laser microscopes. LEXT is the coined name of "Laser" and "Next generation", and it shows our enthusiasm for "providing more user-friendly and easily-viewable laser microscopes to users in the current and next generations".
Main features
The world's highest *1resolution of 0.12µm by adopting the system optimized for semiconductor laser.
Allows for color 3D observations and brightfield, darkfield and differential interference observations to achieve reliable and speedy observations.
Achieves compactness and improves the vibration-proof property simultaneously.
Details of main features
 1. The world's highest*1 resolution of 0.12µm by adopting the system optimized for semiconductor lasers.
This microscope is equipped with a 408 nm violet opto-system optimally developed for a 408 nm semiconductor laser to realize a planar resolution of 0.12µm, which has been impossible with previous microscopes. This microscope has the highest resolution among laser microscopes in the world. We have improved the Z measurement repeatability to achieve 3µ=0.05+0.002Lµm with the standard error, where L is the measurement length in µm.
 2. Allows for color 3D observations and brightfield, darkfield and differential interference observations to achieve reliable and speedy observations.
Previous laser microscopes provide only monochrome image observations. Integrated with the microscope optical system, this microscope can deal with various kinds of observations, such as brightfield, darkfield and differential interference observations (for the first time in our OLS series) to allow for data collection at a higher level of reliability. In addition, it achieves color 3D observations, that allow for pasting brightfield and darkfield images on 3D images, and the simultaneous observations of darkfield or differential interference contrast observations and laser observations on the same screen. These functions, the first in the world, are provided to make fine measurements more speedily.
 3. Achieves compactness and improves vibration-proof property simultaneously.
A space saving of about 60% is achieved compared to previous models. This is the result of integrating the previous individual scanners in the X and Y directions into a "two-dimensional scanner" using our MEMS*2 technology to achieve an optimized and downsized optical system. This downsized microscope can be installed on a table. Note that this is the first time for this type of scanner to be provided as an application for the product. Previous models have a coarse focusing unit adjustment on the stage side, but this new model has the coarse adjustment on the head side in consideration of the vibration-proof property. Improved vibration-proof property reduces the influence of installation environments and improves measurement reliability.
Confocal optical system:
A pinhole is provided in a position optically conjugated to a focused position (confocal plane) to eliminate excess light coming from non-focused positions. Only the focused point on a specimen passes through the pinhole and detected so that clear images can be obtained without causing defocusing or flare.
Olympus has adopted a circular pinhole optimized to maximize the confocal effects for higher resolution.
 *1 Among confocal laser scanning microscopes as of November 20, 2003
 *2 MEMS: Abbreviation of Micro Electro Mechanical System.
Main specifications for "OLS3000"
Structure Special frame
Outside dimensions 464 x 559 x 614.5
* Not including the vibration-isolating stand
Weight 56.9kg
Maximum height of
Load capacity 10kg
XY stage Manual: 100 x 100(mm), Electric: 150 x 100(mm)
Objectives Quantity 5
Magnification 5x 10x 20x 50x 100x
Working distance: mm 20.0 10.1 3.1 0.33 0.35
Numerical aperture 0.15 0.3 0.46 0.95 0.95
Observation and
measurement range
Horizontal (H): µm 2,560 1,280 640 256 128
Vertical (V):µm 2,560 1,280 640 256 128
Magnification on monitor 100 - 600 200 - 1200 400 - 2400 1000 - 6000 2000 - 12000
Optical zoom 1x - 6x
Confocal method Pinhole
Photo detector Photo multiplier
Light source Purple semiconductor laser
Wave length / Output 408nm / 0.9µW (JIS Class 2)
Image import method CFO search (Fine, Fast) Step search
Image import mode Contrast Mode, Enhance Mode
Planar (XY) display resolution 1024 x 1024 (pixel)
Frame memory
Brightness: 1024 x 1024 x 12bit
Height: 1024 x 1024 x 16bit
Frame rate 12Hz
Minimum resolution 0.12µm
Measurement repeatability 3σ(n-1)=0.02
* No limitation on object line width
Measurement range 10mm
Minimum movement
0.01 µm
Minimum display
0.001 µm
Height scale Open control by linear scale
Measurement repeatability: µm 3σ (n-1)=0.05+0.002L
Main unit control Auto focus / Auto gain  / Band scan
Image processing, 2D image processing, and 3D image processing Width measurement / Bump measurement  / Surface area measurement / Volume measurement / Line roughness measurement / Surface roughness measurement / Report function / 2-channel display
*Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. was changed to OLYMPUS CORPORATION as of October 1, 2003.
  • Press releases are company announcements that are directed at the news media.
  • Information posted on this site is current and accurate only at the time of their original publication date, and may now be outdated or inaccurate.
  • Company names and product names specified are trademarks of their respective owners.