McClean: Microscope Dos and Don'ts

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Before using the microscope you must get trained by Megan.


  • Sign up for microscope time on the Google calendar. The calendar is printed and posted on the scope room door every Sunday evening. After Sunday evening, it is easiest to sign up directly on the door.
  • Sign in and out of the log book every time you use the microscope. Make sure the note the time that you turned the lamp on and the time that you turned it off. In the log book please note the following things:
    • Changes to the filter cubes
    • Changes to the objectives
    • Any modifications you've made
    • Any problems with the hardware or the software
  • Use immersion oil with the 100x objective. Never use oil with the 40x objectives.
    • If you get oil on the 40x objective, please talk to Megan immediately.
  • Use only lens paper (never a kimwipe) to clean the objectives.
    • If you do not know how to properly clean the objectives talk to Megan
  • Let the lamp warm up for >1 hour before starting your experiment.
  • Leave the lamp on for at least 30 minutes before turning it off again. Every time the lamp is turned on and off, it takes ~ 5 hours off of its life, so if you know someone is starting an experiment fairly soon after you, leave everything on (and make sure they know you are doing so, so that if they don't end up using the scope, they know they need to shut everything down).
  • Monitor microfluidics experiments carefully for leaks. Do not leave fluidics experiments unsupervised unless you check with Megan before doing so.
  • Clean up any spills promptly and thoroughly. Notify Megan of any spills ASAP.
  • Check that the software is working properly before attaching objectives to the filter turret (ie, make a few stage positions and make sure the stage goes correctly between them before attaching objectives to the nosepiece. We've had a lot of trouble with the software getting corrupted and smashing the stage into the objectives.)
  • Call Megan's cell phone if there is a serious scope emergency.


  • Spill any liquid on the microscope.
  • Put oil on the 40x
  • Clean the 100x by rubbing vigorously with lens paper (or worse, with a kimwipe). Check with Megan if you have not been shown how to clean the objective properly.
  • Drop the objectives. Be extremely careful if you need to handle them, and preferably, let Megan do it or at least show you how several times before you do it yourself.
  • Be afraid to ask for help if you are unsure of something. It is better to ask for help than to cause damage to the microscope.