University of Gothenburg

LSM 880 Airyscan

The Carl Zeiss LSM 880 Airyscan with the Fast Mode is a state-of-the-art inverted microscope designed for imaging in both laser scanning confocal and the novel super-resolution technique Airyscan. The system is dedicated for fast and senstive live cell imaging with a full incubation chamber. In addition, it is possible to perform fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and fluorescence cross correlation spectroscopy (FCCS) .

LSM 880 Airyscan system characteristics

Laser scanning microscope LSM 880

The LSM 880 is a fast and sensitive confocal microscope designed to give reliable quantitative data over the whole field of view.

The LSM 880 is equipped with a 32-channel GaAsP spectral detector actively cooled and photon counting with almost twice the Quantum Efficiency (45% QE typically). To complement this detector, two side PMTs expand the spectral working range. This spectral detection unit (Quasar) allows you to perform simultaneous 34-channel readout in lambda mode. Up to 10 dyes can be acquired and separated at the same time. In channel mode it is possible to image up to 13 frames per second at 512 x 512 pixels, while in lambda mode you can acquire the entire spectrum in just one scan at 5 frames per second. With the new GaAsP detectors, you get up to 2x better SNR for 2x faster acquisition.

The LSM 880 Airyscan beampath (from Carl Zeiss)

Airyscan detection

With the Airyscan detector fast superresolution and sensitive confocal image acquisition is combined. Instead of removing much of the fluorescence signal at the pinhole, 32 channel area detector (GaAsP, quantum efficiency ~45%) collects all light of the Airy disk simultaneously. With this novel detector design, where each detector element functions as a single very small pinhole, a 4-8 times improvement in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) can be achieved as compared to imaging with conventional confocal GaAsP detectors and the resolution can be increased up to 1.7 fold.

In Fast mode, the excitation beam is elongated in the y-direction and the Airyscan detector acquires 4 lines of image information simultaneously. This parallelization delivers a unique combination of high speed, up to 27 frames per second at 480 × 480 pixels, with high resolution and high sensitivity.


LSM 880 Airyscan laser module is equipped with 4 Lasers:
Diode laser 405 nm
Argon-laser 458, 488, 514 nm
DPSS-laser 561 nm
HeNe-laser 633 nm

Objective lenses

Plan-Apochromat 10x/0.45 air
Plan-Apochromat 20x/0.8 air
Plan-Apochromat 40x/1.4 oil immersion
Plan-Apochromat 63x/1.4 oil immersion
C-Apochromat 40x/1.2 water immersion

Airyscan filters

The Airyscan module has the following filter combinations:
BP 420-480 + BP 495-550
BP 420-480 + BP 495-620
BP 420-480 + LP 605
BP 465-505 + LP 525
BP 495-550 + LP 570
BP 570-620 + LP 645

Camera for widefield imaging

The Hamamatsu Orca Flash 4.0 V2 digital CMOS sensor has low readout noise as compared to the conventional cooling CCD image sensor, a high-speed readout of 100 frames/second at 4 megapixels (2048x2048 pixels with a size of 6.5 μm x 6.5 μm) and a peak QE of 82%.


The confocal and Airyscan imaging is performed using the Zen Black 2.3 software, which includes the "Experiment Designer" module for setting up advanced time-course experiments in blocks with different acquisition parameters. The widefield imaging is performed using the Zen Blue 2.3 software.

Advanced 3D/4D rendering of big data, powering by the "Arivis" algorithm, is possible with the Zen Blue 2.3 software.

The Airyscan principle (from Carl Zeiss)
Photo: ZEISS