Leica SP5 X Confocal Microscope

System Overview

The Imaging Core's SP5 X confocal microscope arrived in January 2009 and is now available for use. The confocal system is equipped with multiplel aser lines, including a 405 diode, an Argon laser (458, 476, 488, 496,514nm) and a white light laser (470-670nm in 1 nm increments). A separate workstation with a copy of the Leica imaging software is available for image analysis and processing.

New Users

Faculty and students who wish to use the microscope should follow the instructions in the New Users Guide.

Training is conducted in two sessions. Prepared slides will be used during the first training session in order to acquaint new users with all aspects of the microscope. Users are expected to bring their own samples to the second training session. It is also highly recommended to review the UMD SP5X Quick-Start Guide before training begins. 

Rate Schedule

The rate schedule applies to different users and is current for the 2013/2014 academic year. Fees are used to help cover the cost of the service contract on the microscope, which is partially subsidized by the department, and to help pay for materials such as lens paper, lens cleaning solution and mercury bulbs.


The microscope is available to trained users on an equal basis. An individual user may reserve one four hour block of time during daytime hours. Investigators performing live cell imaging experiments may signup for 12 hours blocks of time after 6pm.

Scheduling is accomplished using Google Calendar.  New users who do not have a Google Calendar account will need to follow the instructions here

All users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the complete list of policies governing the use of the SP5X.


The facility manager is available during normal business hours to provide technical assistance to users. Additional resources include the following Imaging Core protocols:

Leica Application Notes and Software:

Useful Links:


System Specifications

Microscope Stand Inverted
Conventional Fluorescence Filters Dapi, CFP, GFP long pass, RFP
Lasers 405 Diode, Argon (458, 476, 488, 496, 514nm), White light laser (470-670nm in 1nm increments)
Objective Lenses 10x/0.4 Plan Apo, 20x/0.7 multi-immersion Plan Apo, 40x/1.25 oil Plan Apo, 63x/1.2 water, 63x/1.4-0.6 oil Plan Apo, 63x/.3 Glycerine Plan Apo FWD 0.28mm
Additional features x-y motorized scanning stage, z-galvo stage, resonant (high speed) and conventional scanner, environmental chamber

Contact Information

Amy Beaven
Imaging Core Facility
0107 Microbiology Building
University of Maryland