Indigenous microscope uses peacock feather technology


India on Tuesday launched an indigenously manufactured microscope that generates 3D images of objects. The Broad Spectrum Confocal Microscope has several applications in medicine and materials sciences. It uses an infra red beam which passes through a patented photonic crystal fibre made by the Central Glass and Ceramics Research Institute (CGCRI), Kolkata.

“The optic fibre produces multiple wavelengths from the laser due to its surface which has very small holes. This is similar to the way a peacock’s feather scatters light. This is projected on to the target object which allows us to see a three dimensional structure of the object,” CGCRI Director Kamal Dasgupta said.

The microscope was developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) along with Vinvish Technologies, Thiruvananthapuram, under the New Millennium Indian Technology Initiative, an effort launched by the CSIR over a decade ago to develop technologies through collaborative efforts by research laboratories and technology companies in India.


While similar confocal microscopes cost about Rs. 4 crore to import, these will be priced between Rs. 1.25 crore and Rs. 1.5 crore, said Suresh Nair of Vinvish Technologies.

“It has taken us two years to develop this with a Rs. 2.5-crore loan from CSIR,” he added.

Dr. Dasgupta said the complex fibre optics was a result of a decade of work which cost around Rs. 15 crore. In fact, it was these specialised applications of fibre optics that had made his centre’s work profitable, he said.

Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said, “This not only fulfils our goal of Make in India but it is also world class … A dream I cherish is to make the CSIR’s 38 labs into centres of excellence that would attract students from around the world. Scientists have also agreed to devote 12 hours every year to teaching in schools and colleges.”

Corrections and Clarifications:

This article has been corrected for a factual error.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:28:49 PM |

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