Microscopes: 100 years of innovations
Nikon contributes to the progress of science through various technological innovations.
Pioneering microscope systematization
The CF microscope was called "the first technological innovation in 100 years". Behind this achievement was the experience of a Nippon Kogaku optical designer who was on an inspection tour of the IC industry in the U.S.A. He saw many stereo and metallurgical microscopes in the manufacturing and inspection departments, but was shocked that none of them were Nippon Kogaku products.
In December 1972, a new project team began to reform the microscope system radically. The microscope lens design established by German scientist Ernst Abbe at the end of the 19th century was known as the compensation method of correcting magnification aberration by combining the objective lens and eyepiece, and it was long considered the standard. However, the team adopted the CF (Chromatic Aberration Free) system that independently corrected the chromatic aberration for the objective lens and eyepiece to greatly reduce chromatic aberration. Also, ED glass was used for the objective lens to improve performance and create a design that would provide a complete optical system from light source to focal plane that meets any field's requirements. A new unit method was adopted for the entire microscope system, and in July 1976 the Microphoto V microscope that allowed various combinations of main and arm units for diverse observation purposes was released. This systematization has proliferated since then, as the DNA of Nikon microscopes.