Fluorescence microscopes have evolved with speed over the past decade, coupled to equally rapid advances in laser technology, solid-state detectors, interference thin film fabrication, and computer-based image analysis.
DIC components can be installed on virtually any brightfield transmitted, reflected, or inverted microscope, provided the instrument is able to accept polarizing filters and the specially designed condenser and objective prisms.
Through a mechanism different from phase contrast, differential interference contrast converts specimen optical path gradients into amplitude differences that can be visualized as improved contrast in the resulting image.
One of the most effective ways to improve contrast in the reflected light microscope is to utilize darkfield illumination. In reflected darkfield microscopy, an opaque occluding disk is placed in the path of the light traveling through the vertical illuminator so that only the peripheral rays of light reach the deflecting mirror.