Tool for Microscopic Identification Home



Id Identification Type Name Description Distinguishing Features Tags
117 Contaminant Bubble Transparent colorless with heavy black outline. Nonpleochroic, isotropic. Bubbles in optical cement are typically circular but can be any shape when filling voids in biological remains. Very high relief, and may be out of plane of focus of other materials due to larger size. May occur in any slide. Can be partially avoided by keeping bottle of mounting medium upside down when not in use, and mounting several slides at a time so that bubbles are only present in first one or two. High-relief
118 Contaminant Toothpick Small fibers from wooden toothpicks used to disperse sediment on smear slides can be confused with muscovite. Transparent, colorless. Strong second-order birefringence. Shredded or stringy texture common. Low relief. Cellular structure may be visible and can be used to distinguish toothpick from muscovite Shredded
124 Contaminant Fiber contaminant
143 Contaminant Hair contaminant
144 Contaminant Cigarette Ash contaminant
145 Contaminant Floral Foam contaminant
146 Contaminant Kimwipe contaminant
147 Contaminant Lab Dust contaminant
148 Contaminant Mold contaminant
149 Contaminant Polycarb Large Fragment contaminant
150 Contaminant Polycarb Small Fragment contaminant
151 Contaminant Slide Glass Slide manufacturing and handling can sometimes produce fine shards that mimic volcanic glass. Pre-cleaning of new slides prior to smear slide preparation can help minimize encounters with this confusing artifact. isotropic conchoidal-fracture contaminant
152 Contaminant Zorbitrol Zorbitrol is a hydrophilic sodium acrylate polymer sometimes used to physically stabilize the surface of sediment cores. contaminant
180 Contaminant Backer rod contaminant