ZEISS Microscopy – About us: History and Current Locations, Media and Press Materials.
ZEISS Microscopy

A Long Story of Success

About Us ZEISS Microscopy

ZEISS Microscopy is the world's only one-stop manufacturer of light, electron, X-ray and ion microscope systems and offers solutions for correlative microscopy. The portfolio comprises of products and services for life sciences, materials and industrial research, as well as education and clinical practice.

With its unique portfolio, constant innovations and strong partnerships, ZEISS Microscopy enables leading researchers to find answers to our society’s most pressing challenges and drive scientific discovery forward. A dedicated and well-trained sales force and a responsive service team enable customers to use their ZEISS microscopes to their full potential.

History

  • A Microscopy Journey Through Time

    ZEISS has been producing high-precision microscopes since the middle of the 19th century. From 1857 onwards, the simple models were followed by compound microscopes. Thanks to the work of scientist Ernst Abbe, microscopes have been based on theoretical calculations since 1872. This enabled the production of large numbers of microscopes to the same exceptional quality.

    In addition to scientific applications, the microscopes came to be used for routine tasks in clinics, for checking materials, and for educational purposes. The development of microscopes kept advancing, resulting in new models with new technologies.

  • A Visionary Entrepreneur

    Carl Zeiss (1816 – 1888) – A Visionary Entrepreneur
  • Milestones of ZEISS Microscopy

    A Microscopy Journey Through Time

  • First workshop of Carl Zeiss in Jena

    1846

    Carl Zeiss opens a workshop for precision mechanics and optics in Jena.

  • History_1847

    1847

    Simple microscope with doublet and triplet optics. Production of simple microscopes begins.

  • Carl Zeiss sells his first compound microscope.

    1857

    Carl Zeiss sells his first compound microscope.

  • Begin of partnership with Ernst Abbe.

    1866

    Begin of partnership with Ernst Abbe.

  • Illumination apparatus with focusable condenser: Ernst Abbe

    1869

    Illumination apparatus with focusable condenser: Ernst Abbe

  • Ernst Abbe's research results allow microscope optics to be produced on the basis of mathematical calculations for the first time.

    1872

    Ernst Abbe's research results allow microscope optics to be produced on the basis of mathematical calculations for the first time.

  • Partnership between Zeiss, Abbe and Schott. Optical glass from Otto Schott enables more effectively corrected microscope systems. © Carl Bräunlich, ZEISS Archives.

    1884

    Partnership between Zeiss, Abbe and Schott. Optical glass from Otto Schott enables more effectively corrected microscope systems. © Carl Bräunlich, ZEISS Archives.

  • First apochromatic microscope lens, a color-corrected objective lens for three wavelengths based on the calculations of Ernst Abbe.

    1886

    First apochromatic microscope lens, a color-corrected objective lens for three wavelengths based on the calculations of Ernst Abbe.

  • 1896 - ZEISS manufactures the first Greenough-type stereomicroscope.

    1896

    ZEISS manufactures the first Greenough-type stereomicroscope.

  • Illumination device with separate control of the luminous field and condenser aperture: August Köhler (1866-1948).

    1893

    Illumination device with separate control of the luminous field and condenser aperture: August Köhler (1866-1948).

  • 1903 - Invention of the ultramicroscope by Henry Siedentopf and Richard A. Zsigmondy.

    1903

    Invention of the ultramicroscope by Henry Siedentopf and Richard A. Zsigmondy.

  • 1931 - Beginning of TEM development by/at AEG

    1931

    Beginning of TEM development by/at AEG

  • First prototype of a phase-contrast microscope based on Zernike's original design; he wins the Nobel Prize in 1953.

    1936

    First prototype of a phase-contrast microscope based on Zernike's original design; he wins the Nobel Prize in 1953.

  • 1938 - Plan Apochromats and Plan Achromats with a flat image field for micro-photography based on calculations by Hans Boegehold (1876-1965).

    1938

    Plan Apochromats and Plan Achromats with a flat image field for micro-photography based on calculations by Hans Boegehold (1876-1965).

  • 1942 - Cooperation for electron microscopy started by AEG and ZEISS.

    1942

    Cooperation for electron microscopy started by AEG and ZEISS.

  • 1949 - Electrostatic AEG-ZEISS transmission electron microscope EM 8.

    1949

    Electrostatic AEG-ZEISS transmission electron microscope EM 8.

  • 1950 - The Standard microscope becomes one of the most successful models in the history of ZEISS.

    1950

    The Standard microscope becomes one of the most successful models in the history of ZEISS.

  • 1962 - Beginning of SEM development in association with the Cambridge University. Cambridge Instruments establishes as a scientific instrument company by Horace Darwin.

    1962

    Beginning of SEM development in association with the Cambridge University. Cambridge Instruments establishes as a scientific instrument company by Horace Darwin.

  • 1965 - Cambridge Scientific Instruments releases the first commercial SEM, the Stereoscan Mark I.

    1965

    Cambridge Scientific Instruments releases the first commercial SEM, the Stereoscan Mark I.

  • 1973 - Axiomat, a microscope with unparalleled stability and image quality.

    1973

    Axiomat, a microscope with unparalleled stability and image quality.

  • 1982 - The laser scanning microscope, a microscope system with object scanning through an oscillating laser beam and electronic image processing.

    1982

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

  • 1984 - EM 902 with imaging electron energy filter becomes first system on the market to generate high-resolution element mapping images.

    1984

    EM 902 with imaging electron energy filter becomes first system on the market to generate high-resolution element mapping images.

  • 1985 - ZEISS launches the first fully digital SEM, the DSM 950.

    1985

    ZEISS launches the first fully digital SEM, the DSM 950.

  • 1986 - ZEISS unveils the "pyramids", a new generation of microscopes. The design includes special features of Axioplan, Axiophot, and Axiothron: ICS (Infinity Color Corrected System) and SI (System Integration).

    1986

    ZEISS unveils the "pyramids", a new generation of microscopes. The design includes special features of Axioplan, Axiophot, and Axiothron: ICS (Infinity Color Corrected System) and SI (System Integration).

  • 1993 - Market launch of DSM 982 GEMINI field emission scanning electron microscope featuring combined electrostatic-magnetic lens (GEMINI technology).

    1993

    Market launch of DSM 982 GEMINI field emission scanning electron microscope featuring combined electrostatic-magnetic lens (GEMINI technology).

  • 1995 - Founding of LEO Electron Microscopy 50/50 Cooperation between ZEISS and Leica.

    1995

    Founding of LEO Electron Microscopy 50/50 Cooperation between ZEISS and Leica.

  • 1999 - PlasDIC by ZEISS allows the use of plastic dishes for microscopic examinations.

    1999

    PlasDIC by ZEISS allows the use of plastic dishes for microscopic examinations.

  • 2004 - LEO fully integrated in ZEISS as Nano Technology Systems Division.

    2004

    LEO fully integrated in ZEISS as Nano Technology Systems Division.

  • 2005 - The LSM 5 LIVE, a light microscope, with which living cells can be examined 20 times faster and in a particularly gentle manner, enters series production in Jena and receives the R&D Award for its performance in real-time research.

    2005

    The LSM 5 LIVE, a light microscope, with which living cells can be examined 20 times faster and in a particularly gentle manner, enters series production in Jena and receives the R&D Award for its performance in real-time research.

  • 2007 - ZEISS introduces the ORION helium-ion microscope. Samples are scanned with helium ions instead of electrons. This provides markedly better resolution and improved material contrast.

    2007

    ZEISS introduces the ORION helium-ion microscope. Samples are scanned with helium ions instead of electrons. This provides markedly better resolution and improved material contrast.

  • Elyra PS.1

    2010

    The first super-resolution microscope system ELYRA PS.1 from ZEISS includes structured illumination microscopy (SIM) and photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) modes. It is far surpassing the diffraction barrier and enables the observation of structural details with unprecedented accuracy.

  • 2011 - Carl Zeiss NTS GmbH and Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH jointly form the new ZEISS Microscopy business group offering light and electron microscopes to customers.

    2011

    Carl Zeiss NTS GmbH and Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH jointly form the new ZEISS Microscopy business group offering light and electron microscopes to customers.

  • Lightsheet.Z1

    2012

    ZEISS introduces its first light sheet microscope system: ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1 works with an expanded light beam, the light sheet, that illuminates only a thin section of the sample, thus protecting the rest of the specimen. Biologists can use the microscope system to observe the development of entire organisms over several days or more.

  • 2013 - With the acquisition of U.S.-based Xradia, Inc. ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions becomes the only manufacturer of light, electron and X-ray microscopes, with unique solutions for research and routine inspection in materials and life sciences application fields.

    2013

    With the acquisition of U.S.-based Xradia, Inc. ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions becomes the only manufacturer of light, electron and X-ray microscopes, with unique solutions for research and routine inspection in materials and life sciences application fields.

  • 2014 - ZEISS MultiSEM 505, a 61-beam (multi-beam) SEM and fastest SEM in the world, is introduced to the market.

    2014

    ZEISS MultiSEM 505, a 61-beam (multi-beam) SEM and fastest SEM in the world, is introduced to the market.

  • Lattice Lightsheet 7

    2020

    Based on the pioneering research and developments of Ernst H. K. Stelzer and Nobel laureate Eric Betzig, ZEISS Lattice Lightsheet 7 allows researchers to observe cellular processes within cells and small organisms in 3D for hours or days – all at subcellular resolution.

Nobel prize medal

Nobel Prize Laureates

The Nobel Tradition Continues

Prominent scientists put their trust in ZEISS microscopes when conducting research. Robert Koch, who discovered the bacterium that causes tuberculosis in 1900, was just one of them.

To this very day, researchers from all over the world use light, electron, ion and X-ray microscopes from ZEISS to make even the smallest structures and processes visible. Their achievements have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.

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