I am a PhD student at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in material sciences with a question about microscopy.
One of my collegues is exploring the capabilities of a CSLM (confocal scanning laser microscope) to observe in-situ the high temperature behaviour of refractory materials. The material is not transparent to the laser light, so he can only see the surface of the sample. He is using the cslm because our institute does not have a optical microscope with a heating stage.
A problem he faces is that the image quality deteriorates quite rapidly when the sample reaches high temperatures (1600=B0C). The explanation we are thinking of, is that the sample roughens during the experiment. Measurement has shown that before the tests the roughness was about0=2E2=B5m; after the tests is was 5=B5m. The small focus plane of the CSLM could thus cause blurring of the image.
In order to elaborate this explanation, we would like to have an idea about the axial (depth, vertical) resolution of the CSLM equipment and other imaging techniques (LOM, SEM). Can someone please suggest a good reference where we can find such data?