The Em1 microscope evolved from a challenging design brief predicated on the creation of a robust, portable, affordable field microscope capable of diagnosing tropical diseases in arduous settings at the health periphery. The award-winning Em1 convincingly achieves this objective and is also suited to a wide range of other applications from healthcare to field science, general microscopy, veterinary work, pathology, micro-photography and education.

Ultra compact

At a weight of just 480g and a form factor of 154 x 122 x 64 mm, the Em1 is an unprecedented addition to the world of microscopes and can be carried anywhere with ease. It has none of the weight or bulk of the bench microscope yet will match the performance of the conventional laboratory-bound instrument.


Fully integrated Illumination is provided by a white daylight-balanced miniature LED located in an adjustable lighting arm which can be moved to provide various lighting effects including darkground. The LED is switched on and off by the light button and an in-built battery saving timer switches the light off after 15 minutes. The brightness level may be adjusted by a rotating wheel. The Em1 requires three AAA batteries which are extremely compact and widely available globally.


Focus is achieved with a rotating knob on the edge of the Em1. A continuous cam-action is employed and this novel feature ensures that focus is always achieved within a single revolution of the focus wheel no matter which way it is turned.

Fine Focus

A larger clip-on focus wheel is provided as standard to provide very precise focus especially at higher magnifications.

Slide Indexer

A micrometer XY indexer is provided as standard to allow very precise movement of specimen slides for scans and cell counts etc. It may easily be removed (two screws) and the provided slide clips may be substituted if desired.

Precision Optics

Special highly miniaturised objectives were developed for the Em1 microscope and are constructed from high quality precision ground Schott glass.


The objectives are mounted on a carousel and up to three may be provided depending on the Em1 model. These provide magnifications of x100, x400, x600 and x1000 (oil) according to which objectives have been provided with the Em1. The objectives are selected by rotating the carousel (using the knob on the underside of the Em1) until the selected objective lightly clicks into position.


This may be varied with the use of the thumbwheel and guided by the graphics. Higher microscope magnifications require more illumination and vice versa. Illumination levels may also be varied by lifting the lighting arm slightly.

1,000 hours

Owing to the extremely efficient characteristics of the LED circuitry superb battery life is delivered. At high magnifications, which require brighter illumination, the internal battery pack should provide approximately 300 hours of use. At low magnifications the battery life will improve to approximately 1,000 hours.

In practical terms this means that even at the highest illumination levels the Em1 could be used for one hour per day for nearly a year before battery replenishment is required (3 AAA).

External Power

The internal circuitry of the Em1 also permits illumination to be provided by an external USB connecter (supplied) in the event that the internal batteries have become exhausted. This allows the Em1 to be powered from a laptop, separate battery pack or solar array. When using the USB cable the automatic cut-off timer is disabled.


The Em1 microscope is primarily a hand-held instrument, but it may be attached to a small photo table tripod to convert it to a bench microscope. This is a particularly useful feature for long periods of investigation and reduces operator fatigue. Two standard photographic tripod bushes (1/4” UNC) are provided on the underside of the Em1.


The standard RMS eyepiece socket permits the use of the microscope digital cameras which are available, some of which replace the removable eyepiece and others which attach to the eyepiece itself. The image requires a computer for display.

Instant visualisation can be achieved by using a universal adaptor. The image produced on the phone screen can be further manipulated and transmitted to others.

A cavity slide is included as standard with the Em1 microscope. This consists of a standard 3” x 1” slide with a central 10mm hole equipped with a thin glass ‘floor’. The cavity slide enables examination of fluids and small specimens such as pollen, insects etc.


© Archimedes Research Limited 2021

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