It is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of adding a spatial pinhole placed at the confocal plan of the lens to eliminate out-of-focus light. It enables the reconstruction of three-dimensional structures from the obtained images.
There are many advantages of using this type of microscope including the detailed study of minute objects within a sample and the ability to filter fluorescence colors providing views of a sample not visible using white light.
These microscopes provide better resolution on both the vertical and horizontal planes, in some cases up to 0.2 microns on the horizontal and 0.5 microns on the vertical plane.
Higher resolution, more efficient use of light and the ability to filter out unwanted light wavelength that prohibits complete sample study are some of the reasons these specialty microscopes are highly valued in many scientific areas.
The high-speed imaging abilities of confocal instruments that provide detailed pictures were impossible until they were invented.
A confocal microscope provides high definition images in two and three dimensions allowing scientists to study in detail the subtle interactions of cells, chemical reactions, and the smallest of Earth’s creatures.