Magnification and Imaging of the Physical Structure of Nano-Scale Devices, Structures or Materials
Microscopy is the technical field that uses microscopes to magnify the viewing of samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye (objects that are not within the spatial resolution range of the normal eye). There are three branches of microscopy: optical, electron, and x-ray microscopy.
Optical and electron microscopy involve the diffraction, reflection or refraction of optical or electron beams interacting with the specimen, and the subsequent collection of the scattered light/electrons or another signal in order to create an image. This process may be carried out by wide-field irradiation of the sample (e.g. standard light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) or by scanning of a fine beam over the sample (e.g. confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy). The development of microscopy revolutionized biology and remains an essential technique in the life and physical sciences.