Bio-Imaging Unit

Leica SP2

Leica SP8 Confocal (Inverted)


This instrument is based around an inverted Leica SP8X white light confocal microscope equipped with 405 nm and a pulsed "white light" Laser (470 - 670 nm) sources.

The system has two gated hybrid detectors (high sensitivity) and two PMTs. The HyD detectors are more sensitive than conventional PMTs, allowing imaging of very weak fluorescence, and can also be used in photon counting mode, providing truly quantitative imaging.

Incorporated into the confocal scan-head are both resonant (fast scanning) and non-resonant (conventional scanning) scanning mirrors. This allows experimenters to have the option of imaging in high resolution (up to 8192x8192 pixels) or at high speed (290fps at 512x16 pixels).

Resonant scanning mode has added benefits; for live-cell experiments, photo-sensitive specimens remain alive for longer and fluorophore bleaching is significantly reduced.

The system will also perform regular 2D, 3D and 4D imaging. The microscope is fully-enclosed in a heated environmental chamber and has the ability to set and maintain temperature and CO2.

An incubation box allows temperature and CO2 control. Adaptive focus control maintains the focus during prolonged live cell experiments.


Here you can find the specifications for this microscope.

Example objectives

63x Oil 1.63
40x Air 0.85
20x Air 0.7
10x Air 0.4
63x Water, dipping 0.9
40x Water, dipping 0.85
20x Water, dipping 0.5

Imaging modes

  • multi point x,y (2D) with tiling
  • volume x,y,z (3D)
  • time lapse x,y,z,t (4D)

Laser lines

  • Argon UV; 360nm
  • Multi line Argon; 458nm, 476nm, 488nm, 514nm
  • HeNe; 543nm
  • HeNe; 633


This microscope is located in the Central Unit, on campus.

The Central Unit is based in the Bioimaging Unit in the William Leech Building. Room M2.154.

Newcastle University
William Leech Building
Medical School
Framlington Place 
Newcastle upon Tyne

Here, you can get directions to the building.

Enter your postcode or address to find directions


Find out how to book this microscope.

The minimal booking time for this equipment is 30 minutes. Time increments of 15 minutes are permitted.

Bookings can be cancelled with no charge up to an hour before scheduled use.

Before booking this equipment, please ensure the following:

  • any users are fully trained, and approved by a member of BioImaging facility staff
  • microscopes are left in a good state of tidiness (lenses/stage should be cleaned of any oil)
  • filters and lenses must not be removed or switched between systems without authorisation from Bioimaging facility staff

If you work at Newcastle University, you can book this microscope online by using iLab.

If you're a commercial company or an academic at another institution, just contact us to discuss your requirements.