An optical microscope is one of the most important modern tools in microanalysis, even though it has been invented for over four hundred years. Top Analytica uses the Olympus stereomicroscope and the Leica passage light microscope. In addition, the preparation of the sample uses ultramicrotom to produce thin sections.
The advantage of optical microscopes is the ability to use the colors of the materials and the wide area from which the analysis can be performed. Often, optical microscopes are used with other instruments such as SEM, EDS, WDS and Tof-SIMS for identifying interesting analysis points. Often, samples cast in epoxy resin are also optically examined before electron microscopy.