Optical Microscopy of Soft Matter Systems
The fast-growing field of soft matter research requires increasingly; sophisticated tools for experimental studies. One of the oldest and most widely; used tools to study soft matter systems is optical microscopy. Recent advances; in optical microscopy techniques have resulted in a vast body of new; experimental results and discoveries. New imaging modalities, such as nonlinear; optical microscopy techniques that were developed to achieve higher resolution,; enable soft matter research at length scales ranging from the molecular to the; macroscopic.; The aim of this chapter is to introduce a variety of optical microscopy; techniques available to soft matter researchers, starting from basic principles; and finishing with a discussion of the most advanced microscopy systems. We; describe traditional imaging techniques, such as bright field and polarizing; microscopy, along with state-of-the-art three-dimensional (3D) imaging; techniques, such as fluorescence confocal and nonlinear optical microscopies.; Different approaches are discussed along with their applications in the study; of soft matter systems by providing typical examples.