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Super-Resolution Microscope N-SIM E

All-new personal structured illumination super-resolution system for the individual lab.

Introducing an all-new super-resolution system for the individual lab. Achieve 2x resolution at half the price!
Utilizing structured illumination microscopy (SIM) technology, the all-new N-SIM E realizes double the spatial resolution of conventional optical microscopes (to approximately 115 nm). N-SIM E is a streamlined, affordable super-resolution system supporting only essential, commonly used excitation wavelengths and imaging modes, making it an obvious choice for individual labs.

Double the Resolution of Conventional Optical Microscopes

The N-SIM E utilizes Nikon’s innovative new approach to “structured illumination microscopy” technology. By pairing this powerful technology with Nikon’s renowned CFI SR Apochromat TIRF 100x oil objective (NA 1.49), the N-SIM E nearly doubles the spatial resolution of conventional optical microscopes (to approximately 115 nm*), and enables detailed visualization of the minute intracellular structures and their interactive functions.

* Excited with 488 nm laser, in 3D-SIM mode


Fast Temporal Resolution of Approx. 1 sec/frame

N-SIM E provides fast imaging performance for Structured Illumination techniques, with a time resolution of approximately 1 sec/frame, which is effective for live-cell imaging.

Axial Super-High Resolution Imaging with 3D-SIM Mode

Slice 3D-SIM mode allows axial super-resolution imaging with optical sectioning at 300 nm resolution in live-cell specimens. Optional Stack 3D-SIM mode can image thicker specimens with higher contrast than Slice 3D-SIM mode.

 N-SIM 2

3-color Multi-Laser Super-Resolution Capability

The compact LU-N3-SIM laser unit dedicated for N-SIM E is installed with the three most commonly used wavelength lasers (488/561/640), enabling super-high resolution imaging in multiple colors. It enables the study of dynamic interactions of multiple proteins of interest at the molecular level.

The Principle of Structured Illumination Microscopy

Analytical processing of recorded moiré patterns produced by overlay of a known high spatial frequency pattern, mathematically restores the sub-resolution structure of a specimen.

Combination with Super-Resolution N-SIM

Utilization of high spatial frequency laser interference to illuminate sub-resolution structure within a specimen produces moiré fringes, which are captured. These moiré fringes include modulated information of the sub-resolution structure of the specimen. Through image processing, the unknown specimen information can be recovered to achieve resolution beyond the limit of conventional optical microscopes.


Illumination with a known, high spatial frequency pattern allows for the extraction of super-resolution information from the resulting moiré fringes.

Create super-resolution images by processing multiple moiré pattern images

An image of moiré patterns captured in this process includes information of the minute structures within a specimen. Multiple phases and orientations of structured illumination are captured, and the displaced “super resolution” information is extracted from moiré fringe information. This information is combined mathematically in “Fourier” or aperture space and then transformed back into image space, creating an image at double the conventional resolution limit.


Create super-resolution images by processing multiple images 

Capture multiple images with structured illumination that is shifted in phase.
Repeat this process for three different angles. This series of images are then processed using advanced algorithms to obtain super-resolution images.

Utilizing high-frequency striped illumination to double the resolution

The capture of high resolution, high spatial frequency information is limited by the Numerical Aperture (NA) of the objectives, and spatial frequencies of structure beyond the optical system aperture are excluded (Fig. A). Illuminating the specimen with high frequency structured illumination, which is multiplied by the unknown structure in the specimen beyond the classical resolution limit, brings the displaced “super resolution” information within the optical system aperture (Fig. B).

When this “super-resolution” information is then mathematically combined with the standard information captured by the objective lens, it results in resolutions equivalent to those captured with objective lenses with approximately double the NA (Fig. C).


Fig. A: Resolution is limited by the NA of the objective



Fig. B: The product of Structured Illumination and normally un-resolvable specimen structure produce recordable moiré fringes containing the specimen information at double the conventional resolution limit.



Fig. C: Images with resolutions equivalent to those captured with objective lenses with approximately double the NA are achieved.


Objectives for Super-Resolution Microscopes

The system can be configured with either a 100x oil immersion type, which is suitable for the imaging of fixed samples, or a 60x water immersion type, which is optimal for time-lapse live-cell imaging.

The SR (super resolution) objectives have been designed to provide superb optical performance with Nikon’s super-resolution microscopes.

The adjustment and inspection of lenses using wavefront aberration measurement have been applied to yield optical performances with the lowest possible asymmetric aberration.



CFI SR Plan Apochromat IR 60x WI




CFI SR Apochromat TIRF 100x oil



Lateral resolution (FWHM of beads in xy) 115 nm* in 3D-SIM mode
Axial resolution (FWHM of beads in z) 269 nm* in 3D-SIM mode
Image acquisition time Up to 1 sec/frame (Slice 3D-SIM)
(requires additional 1-2 sec. for calculation)
Imaging mode Slice 3D-SIM
Stack 3D-SIM (option)
Multi-color imaging 3 colors
multi-color imaging
Compatible Laser 488 nm, 561 nm, 640 nm
Compatible microscope Motorized inverted microscope ECLIPSE Ti-E

  • Perfect Focus System
  • Motorized XY stage with encoders
  • Motorized barrier filter wheel
  • Piezo Z stage (option)
Compatible objective System can be configured with either 100x or 60x
CFI SR Apochromat TIRF 100×oil (NA1.49)
CFI Apochromat TIRF 100×oil (NA1.49)
CFI SR Plan Apochromat IR 60×WI (NA1.27)
CFI Plan Apochromat IR 60×WI (NA1.27)
Camera ORCA-Flash 4.0 sCMOS camera (Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.)
Software NIS-Elements Ar
NIS-Elements C (for Confocal Microscope C2+)
Both require additional software modules NIS-A and N-SIM Analysis
Operating conditions 20 ℃ to 28 ℃ (± 0.5 ℃)

*These values are measured using 100 nm diameter beads excited at 488 nm. Actual resolution is dependent on laser wavelength and optical configuration.