brickroscope view

Brickoscope: detailed instructions and worksheets can be found in the download section.

The Do-It-Yourself Microscope

The Brickoscope is a simple, but powerful optical microscope for educational purposes (secondary school, university). It can be constructed by yourself within a few hours and consists of a minimal set of relatively cheap components:

• aspherical objective lens (NA: 0.4)
• telescope eyepiece
• illumination using LEDs
   (transmission and reflection)
• lens mountings (3D printing)

For monochromatic light, a resolution of a few micrometers can be achieved. The magnification of the microscope (375x and 540x) is high enough to investigate biological samples, like mosquitos, fleas, or radiolaria, and even the tracks on a CD. The simple setup is ideal for discovering or teaching fundamental concepts of optics and microscopy. We provide lectures and exercises using the raytrace simulation software Zemax, detailed instructions for experiments on aberrations of optical systems (spherical and chromatic aberration), and an experimental introduction to Fourier optics using different apertures in the back-focal plane of the objective lens.

brickroscope scheme

Optical layout: paraxial raypath in the microscope. Lectures, exercises and raytrace simulations can be found in the download section.

The Brickoscope has been developed by the Optical Design Group in the framework of the Photonics Academy 2015, which was organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and the IAP of the Friedrich Schiller University.

Photonik Akademie 2015 - IMG_4597
Participants of the Photonics Academy in 2015 enjoy their own Brickroscope.

concept und construction: Moritz Eßlinger

documentation und experiments: Ralf Hambach

3D printing:

samples: Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology (FSU Jena)