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Single molecule detection (SMD) and analysis is an elegant way to examine dynamics and interactions inside cellular systems. Our Leica TCS SMD Series perfectly integrates the confocal microscope Leica TCS SP8 and the SMD specific software and hardware from PicoQuant into one system.

The Leica TCS WLL SP8 is a freely Tunable Confocal System. The white light laser (WLL) source of the Leica TCS SP8 perfectly matches the spectral properties of any fluorophore excitable in the visible spectral range. Continuously tuneable excitation and detection ensure best image quality and sample protection. Up to eight excitation lines can be used – simultaneously.

  • Tuning range of 470 to 670 nm in 1 nm intervals
  • Minimum cross-talk in multiple stained specimen
  • Change of Illumination regimes within microseconds
  • Lambda Square Mapping: full spectral information by excitation emission correlation
  • LightGate: background quenching using time-gated detection
  • True FLIM results by adjustable excitation wavelength and variable pulse repetition rate


Confocal system details

Our new new Leica SP8 has been installed in room 00/075. The microscope is suitable for both live cell and fixed specimens on slides, and it will run alongside our old Zeiss LMS 510 MetaHead confocal. The new Leica SP8 has:

  • An inverted DMI 6000 AFC microscope for live cell viewing
  • Full live cell chamber with temperature, CO2 and humidity control
  • SuperZ Galvo Stage and hardware Auto-Focus
  • 10x & 20x HC PL Fluotar air objectives, and 40x & 63x HC PL Apo oil CS2 objectives
  • HC PL Apo x63 Mott Corr Water CS2 Objective with software control of the correction collar
  • Transmitted Light Brightfield Detector
  • Inverted motorised scanning XY Stage including Mark & Find and Autostitching/Mosaic Modules
  • Passive anti-vibration microscope air-table
  • AOBS filter free scanhead
  • WLL2 tuneable pulsed single diode laser with 200 lines from 470 to 670nm, including Pulse Picker for FLIM (80, 40, 20 10 MHz rep. rate)
  • 405nm Diode Laser for DAPI
  • Two Internal Spectral Detector Channels (PMT)
  • Two Internal Spectral Detector Channels (HyD) GaAsP
  • SMD Excitation: 440nm laser pulsed for FLIM
  • SMD Emission FLIM+FCS 2Ch HyD Fibre coupled X1 port
  • SMD Filter Cubes Alexa488/Alexa633 and CFP/YFP, others available
  • Twin premium Workstations and 30 inch Monitors
  • Software Modules for all Acquisition modes, 3D, FRAP/FRET/FLIP, Spectral Dye Separation, Online Dye Separation, Live Data Mode advanced live cell imaging module, Image Processing, Measurement & Reporting
  • Extra licence for PQ ST Offline Software FCS_FLIM
  • Leica confocal Lif files can be viewed using Leica LAS AF Lite on a Windows PC

At present access to the Leica SP8 SMD confocal system is through members of the Cellular Imaging staff, email us all at Typically the Zeiss 510 confocal will be used for routine imaging and initial confocal training, with the Leica SP8 reserved for live cell imaging and fixed specimens that may benefit from the Leica SP8's advanced features (feel free to inquire about what the Leica SP8 confocal has to offer).   

Leica SP8 user manuals and brochures

Download the Leica TCS SP8 Quick Start Poster and Core's Abridged Instructions for getting started here. Further help is available via in-program help within the Leica LAS-AF software. There's also the full Leica SP8 User Manual plus the other Leica SP8 confocal manuals: the DMI600 Microscope, the FRAP module and the MotCORR 63x Water Objective.

Additional Leica SP8 confocal flyers and brochures: Hyd Detectors, the SP8 Scan Head, Adaptive Focus Control (AFC), the Leica SP8 SMD, the Leica SP8 X White Light Laser. Application letter: FRET with FLIM.