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Leica SP8 Confocal, STED, FLIM System



The Leica SP8 confocal microscope is for live cell imaging with high-speed, multi-spectral, super-sensitivity, super-resolution, and fluorescence lifetime capability.

  • Live Cell Imaging with Adaptive Focus Control (AFC) to automatically maintain focus in time-lapse experiments.
  • Navigator Software Module creates a fast overview of samples.
  • Lightning GPU-based Deconvolution resolves structures down to 120nm.
  • Resonant Scanning Mode for high speed scanning and less phototoxicity to live cells. Scan at speeds up to 40 fps (512 x 512px) or 428 fps (512 x 16px).
  • Gating to remove unwanted short-lifetime signal such as tissue autofluorescence or unwanted reflection.
  • FALCON-Fluorescence lifetime imaging module suitable for FLIM-FRET (Forster Resonance Energy Transfer).
  • FALCON-Fluorescence lifetime imaging module-follow fast molecular interactions via FLIM-FRET (Forster Resonance Energy Transfer).


Imaging Modes: Fluorescence spectral imaging, STED superresolution, FLIM, Brightfield, and DIC


  • HC PL APO 10x/0.40 CS2
  • HC PL APO 20x/0.75 IMM CORR CS2 – multi-immersion objective (oil, glycerol, water)
  • HC PL APO 40x/1.10 W motCORR CS2 – water immersion, motorized aberration correction
  • HC PL APO 63x/1.30 GLYC CORR CS2 – Glycerol immersion for samples mounted in glycerol-based mounting media
  •  HC PL APO 100x/1.40 OIL for STED superresolution


  • AOBS and WLL (470nm-670nm) white light, pulsed laser source-Leica TCS SP8 X perfectly matches the wavelength of any fluorophore in the visible spectrum. This allows acquisition of excitation and emission spectra. A pulsed 440nm laser and a continuous wave 405nm laser line is included for imaging of UV-excitable dyes.
  • STED 775superresolution in x,y (2D) with resolution down to ~40nm. This is designed for dyes like Abberior STAR 635 or Alexa Fluor 647. A second color is possible with dyes excited around 590nm.


  • Two standard PMT detectors
  • Three hybrid detectors HyD SMD with superior sensitivity and single photon counting.
  • Two APD (Avalanche Photodiode Detector) for excellent sensitivity in the red/far red region of the spectrum to handle new NIR probes.


  • Standard motorized stage
  • Tokai Hit stage top incubator for long-term, live cell imaging maintains humidity, temperature and CO₂.

Software: LAS X software modules for multi-dimensional, STED, and FLIM imaging.

for imaging services, training or other questions

please contact Stanislav Vitha,

Helpful Hints:

Download: Leica_SP8-STED-FLIM_Training_Policy.pdf

The Leica SP8 is housed in a BL2 lab.

Instructions for gaining access found here: How to get access to the BL-2 lab