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Optical microscopy is a non-destructive technique which uses visible light passed through a series of lenses to produce enlarged sample images. It is also known as light microscopy.  Virtually any sample can be analyzed using OM with the only requirement being that can be placed under the microscope’s objective lens.  . The degree of magnification available is widely variant, typically up to 100x, and can be easily changed by altering the magnification power of the objective lens. This technique can be used to examine the homogeneity, morphology, topography, color, and other physical characteristics of a sample.  Some microscopes can be coupled to cameras for image preservation. Microscopes are typically employed as benchtop instruments, but some smaller handheld microscopes are also commercially available.  It is an extremely mature analytical technique and instruments are widely available from a large number of manufacturers.  Microscope prices vary widely depending on the quality and complexity of the lens optics.