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Location: Room P2-B-42 ( 47236)
Manufacturer: Leica Microsystems
Model: TCS SP8 MP
Nickname: "SP8"
Software: LAS X
Software version: 3.5.7
Year: 2017
SN: 8100001758
Data will be deleted after: 3 months  
Leica SP8 MP Quality Control
Leica SP8 MP Usage Statistics

Microscope overview

The Leica SP8 MP is a both a confocal and multi-photon microscope able to generate high-resolution three-dimensional images of thick specimens. Multi-photon excitation (most commonly two photon excitation) is particularly advantageous for imaging thicker samples. Rather than exciting the fluorophore with one photon, multi-photon excitation is produced by two or more lower energy photons which can penetrate deeper in the sample. Moreover, contrarily to confocal, the multi-photon excitation light will only achieve sufficient intensity to cause fluorescence in a specific region. Because of this, no pinhole is needed in multi-photon microscopy to exclude the light from out-of-focus planes and achieve optical sectioning. The Leica SP8 MP is an upright microscope equipped with water and glycerol immersion objectives especially suitable for intra-vital and thick samples immersed in water or glycerol imaging. In confocal mode, its scanning unit includes a spectral detector PMT to be used with a 488 nm laser for excitation. In multi-photon mode, its Insight DS+ Dual pulsed laser can be tuned from 680 to 1300 nm and has a second laser line emitting at 1041 nm, to be used with four non-descanned detectors with specific filtersets: two PMTS and two HyD detectors (hybrid detectors with 45% QE compared to ~25% QE for conventional PMT). With this system you can perform optical sectioning high resolution imaging of fluorescent samples that are two thick for confocal microscopes such as the Zeiss LSM 880 or the Zeiss LSM 710, albeit with a slightly lower resolution. If you do not need optical sectioning and your sample is thin, check out a widefield system instead, such as the Zeiss Cell Observer or the Nikon Eclipse Ti. If your personal computer cannot handle all the data you collected, check out the Colossus.

Two-photon action cross sections - Cornell University

Click on the image on the right to see it in higher detail

Data files older than 3 months will be automatically deleted on this system, please copy your data to the iMM server using the desktop link.

System components


Laser Unit Wavelength
InSight DS+ Dual (multi-photon) 680 - 1300 nm
1040 nm
SS OBIS 488-20 (confocal) 488 nm


Magnification Model Immersion NA WD (mm) Reference
25x HC FLUOTAR VISIR Water 0.95 2.50 15506374
63x HC PL APO Glyc CORR CS2 Glycerol 1.30 0.30 15506353

Filtersets (Ocular)

Filterset Reference Excitation Dichroic Emission Fluorochromes
Blue I3 450-490 nm 510 nm > 515 nm GFP, FITC, Alexa488

Emission Filters (multi-photon)

Detector Filter Transmission Fluorochromes
HyD-RLD 1 Red 570-640 nm mCherry, Alexa568, Cy3
HyD-RLD 2 Green 500-550 nm GFP, Alexa488, FITC
PMT-RLD 3 Far Red 662 - 737 nm Alexa647, Cy5
PMR-RLD 4 Red 570-640 nm mCherry, Alexa568, Cy3

Upon request:
(requires changing filters and the dichroic beamsplitter)

Detector Filter Transmission Fluorochromes
HyD-RLD 1 Green 500-550 nm GFP, Alexa488, FITC
HyD-RLD 2 Blue 415-485 nm DAPI, Hoescht, Alexa350
PMT-RLD 3 Far Red 662 - 737 nm Alexa647, Cy5
PMR-RLD 4 Red 570-640 nm mCherry, Alexa568, Cy3

System Turn On Procedures

  • Check that the cooling and power supply for the infrared laser are ON (InSight DeepSee READY)

  • Turn on the fluorescence lamp

  • Turn on the HyD (Hybrid detectors) supply unit

  • Turn on the computer
  • Turn on the microscope electronics box

  • Turn on the microscope control panel

  • Switch on the scanner power, laser power and turn the key switch to on

  • Login in to Windows with your Agendo credentials
  • Start the LAS X software

Microscope Turn Off procedures

If there is another user for this microscope in the next hour:

  • Leave the fluorescent lamp and lasers on
  • Clean up immersion objectives


  • Clean up immersion objectives
  • Set the infrared laser to hibernate (deactivate the infrared laser in the Currently Available Lasers window)
  • Close the LAS X software
  • Turn of the 488 nm laser with the key switch in the flexible supply unit
  • Switch off the HyD supply unit
  • Switch off the microscope control panel
  • Shutdown the computer
  • Switch off the laser power and scanner power in the flexible supply unit
  • Turn off the microscope electronics box
  • Turn off the fluorescent lamp

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leica_sp8_mp.txt ยท Last modified: 2023/03/27 12:55 by bioimaging