Innovations

Here you will find an overview of the most important innovations of the Carl Zeiss Company.


  • 1857 – 1894
    The first compound microscope

    1857

    Carl Zeiss sells his first compound microscope


    1872

    All lenses are manufactured on the basis of Ernst Abbe's theory of microscopes


    High-performance microphotographic system from Roderich Zeiss

    1887

    High-performance microphotographic system from Roderich Zeiss (1850–1919).


    Binoculars with greater distance between the objective lenses

    1894

    Binoculars with increased distance between the objective lenses: crisper image with better depth of field


  • 1895 – 1945
    Tessar® lens

    1902

    Tessar® lens, the "eagle eye of the camera".


    Large ophthalmoscope with the Punktal® eyeglass lens

    1912

    The large ophthalmoscope and the Punktal® eyeglass lens revolutionize ophthalmic optics and ophthalmology.
    Length measuring machine

    1922

    Length measuring machine based on Eppenstein’s principle.


    The projection planetarium (Model I)

    1923

    First presentation of the projection planetarium (Model I) in Munich; inauguration in the Deutsches Museum in 1925


    Alexander Smakula

    1935

    Patent for the coating technique developed by Alexander Smakula to reduce reflections on glass


    Prototype of a phase contrast microscope

    1936

    First prototype of a phase-contrast microscope based on Zernike’s original design, who wins the Nobel Prize in 1953.


  • 1946 – 1989
    Transmission electron microscope (TEM)

    1949

    Electrostatic AEG-ZEISS transmission electron microscope EM 8.


    OPMI® 1 surgical microscope

    1953

    The OPMI® 1 surgical microscope – developed in collaboration with leading surgeons: Dr. Horst Wullstein (ENT) and Dr. Heinrich Harms (ophthalmology).


    Xenon photocoagulator

    1957

    Xenon photocoagulator based on the Meyer-Schwikerath design, the world’s first instrument to use light as a surgical tool and a forerunner of ophthalmic lasers.


    UMM 500 (Universal Measuring Machine)

    1973

    UMM 500: Carl Zeiss launches the first CNC coordinate measuring machine with a measuring probe and
    an HP 9810 computer.


    1977

    Carl Zeiss supplies the optics for the world's first wafer stepper: The S-Planar® 10/0.42 objective lens is the first to enable opto-lithographic production of 1 µm structures.


    The S-Planar® 10/0.42

    1982

    The laser scanning microscope, a microscope system with object scanning through an oscillating laser beam and electronic image processing


    Gradal® HS

    1983

    Gradal® HS – progressive eyeglass lenses with the same visual conditions for both eyes in all viewing directions.


  • 1990 – 1999
    Binoculars with mechanical image stabilization

    1990

    Carl Zeiss is the world's first manufacturer to produce binoculars with mechanical image stabilization (20 x 60 S). The image stabilization system compensates for hand tremor and allows successful free-hand observation at 20x magnification


    ROSAT X-ray satellite

    1990

    Launch of the ROSAT X-ray satellite featuring the world's smoothest mirrors to study sources of X-rays.


    AIMS™ system

    1994

    Delivery of first AIMS™ system for advanced photomask evaluation


    UNIVERSARIUM planetarium projector featuring fiber optics

    1995

    Series production of the UNIVERSARIUM planetarium projector featuring fiber optics


    IOLMaster®

    1999

    IOLMaster®: Measurement of all parameters required for implanting intraocular lenses, for the first time without touching the eye.


  • 2000 – today
    Gradal Individual® progressive eyeglass lens

    2000

    Gradal Individual® progressive eyeglass lens: for the first time, not only the dioptric effect, but also the personal parameters obtained for each patient in the fitting procedure are incorporated in the computation of the progressive surface.


    The OPMI Pentero® surgical microscope

    2004

    The OPMI Pentero® surgical microscope for neurosurgery provides comprehensive digital visualization possibilities.


    The Starlith® 1700i lithography objective lens

    2005

    The Starlith® 1700i lithography objective lens for microchip fabrication is the first system of its kind to combine lens elements and mirror systems.


    ORION helium-ion microscope

    2007

    Carl Zeiss introduces the ORION helium-ion microscope. Samples are scanned with helium ions instead of electrons. which offers markedly better resolution and improved material contrast.


    Shuttle & Find correlative microscopy system

    2010

    The "Shuttle & Find" correlative microscopy system facilitates the examination of specimens in light and electron microscopes, e.g. through the relocation of relevant structures via special markings.


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