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Physitemp Heating and Cooling Stages for Microscopes

A wide range of Heating and Cooling Stages for Microscopes.
Heating and Cooling

Physitemp Heating and Cooling Stages for Microscopes

TS-4 Thermal Microscope Stage

With our TS-4 Thermal Stage, a specimen on a microscope slide or dish can be maintained at any temperature between - 20 degrees C and + 100 degrees C. Set-up is easy, takes little time, and the controller will regulate the stage temperature to within + 0.1degrees C.

TS-4 is a thermoelectric (Peltier) device and has no moving parts. No liquid CO2, or nitrogen is used for cooling. Only AC current and a trickle of running water are needed for operation. Two versions are available:

* TS-4, range - 20 degrees to + 60 degrees C
* TS-4ER, range - 20 degrees to + 100 degrees C

The TS-4 consists of a stage, a controller and an optional pump unit:

The stage is a thin, nickel coated copper plate, with a thermoelectric module mounted on one side (see diagram on next page). The plastic base is the same size and thickness as a glass slide and fits onto the mechanical stage of the microscope in the same manner as a slide. The thermal stage can therefore be moved relative to the optics by the normal mechanical stage controls. A hole in the metal plate permits the use of transmitted light. Water is required for removal of excess heat from the stage. The two water tubes have self sealing connections to prevent spills.Running water from a tap can be used. If tap water is not easily accessible, our pump and tank unit is compactand convenient. Sensors mounted in the stage provide temperature monitoring for control purposes and for safety. The safety sensors prevent overheating in case of failure of cooling water supply or other malfunction.

The controller produces a maximum of 10 Amps at approx 5 volts DC for the thermoelectric modules in the stage. Output polarity is automatically reversed when the stage requires a change from heating and cooling, or vice versa. During set-up the digital display indicates the control temperature being selected. The actual stage temperature is displayed during operation. The thermometer circuitry in the TS-4 can also be used as an independent instrument, either with the microprobe supplied or with any type T thermocouple sensor. A switch on the front panel allows easy selection of the external sensor. Range of the thermometer is - 100° to +200°C. A thermocouple microprobe is supplied with the TS-4.

The pump and tank unit is connected to an auxiliary AC output on the back of the controller. The tank provides sufficient circulation to keep the stage cooled. All water connections are self-sealing.


  • Holds specimen at any temperature, -20 degrees to +100 degrees C
  • Digital display of set-up and operating temperatures
  • Control to within 0.1 degrees C
  • Fits most microscopes
  • Built-in digital thermometer
  • Solid state technology no moving parts

Stage Specifications
Temp. Range:         TS-4 -20 to +60 ° C
                             TS-4ER -20 ° to +100 ° C Temp. Controlled
Surface Area:          1.25" x 1.5"
Weight:                  16 oz., including lead
Lead Length:           40 inches
Material:                 Copper, nickel plated
Mounting:               Plastic. Fits slide holder

Controller Specifications
Temp. Range:         TS-4 -20 to +60 ° C
                             TS-4ER -20 °) to +100 ° C
Resolution::            0.1 ° C
Power Supply:         115V or 230V AC
Power Consumption:Approximately 100 Watts
Dimensions:            8" x 7" x 17"
Weight:                  28 lbs.

Optional: Water Pump and Tank Unit "Model-PTU-3"

Model-PTU-3 -Pump and Tank Unit was designed for use with Physitemp's range of thermoelectric cooling and heating stages. It provides a convenient reservoir of cooling water when a stage is operated in the cooling mode for an extended period of time in a location which has no source of tap water nearby to cool the hot side of the thermoelectric heat pump.  The reservoir tank holds seven gallons of water, which is adequate to run the smaller stages like the TS-4 series Thermal Stage or the BFS series 3 or 5 Freezing Stages for up to eight hours and a larger stage like the BFS-30 for up to four hours.

Water is circulated using a quiet 1/25 horsepower single phase motor and magnetically driven pump - so there are no rotating seals to leak or replace.  Self sealing connectors are used on the inlet and outlet water connections to prevent spillage.  Ice cubes may be added to the tank in order to extend the operating time or reduce the lowest temperature to which the thermoelectric stage can cool.  A switched accessory outlet on the read of all  thermoelectric controllers and power supplies is used to power the pump so water starts flowing immediately when the controller is turned on.  

Pump and Tank Unit PTU-3 Specifications
Dimensions:             15:75"D x 9.5"W x 21"Hd
Weight:                   18lbs (when empty)
Power Supply           110V or 220V Must be specified
Power Consumption: 150 Watts
Water Connections:   Self-sealing

Optional: WF-1 In-Line Sediment Filter

Physitemp Instruments has introduced an In-line Sediment Filtration System for its extensive range of thermoelectric cooling and heating stages. The filtration system comprises a compact tabletop unit with a clear plastic filter housing. Water connections are made from the water supply and to the thermoelectric stage using the standard quick/disconnect self-sealing water fitting used on all Physitemp’s current stages.

Physitemp Instruments recommends the use of the WF-1 Sediment Filter with all BFS and TS series stages that are either directly connected to an unfiltered tap water supply or are using a PTU-3 pump and Tank Unit system filled with unfiltered tap water. If the PTU-3 is used with distilled water, sediment in the reservoir should be minimal and the WF-1 may not be required.

A five micron particle filter is supplied installed in the filter housing. This filter prevents the accumulation of sediment in the waterways of the stage heatsink, thereby maintaining maximum heat exchange efficiency. Condition of the filter is clearly visible through the filter housing and filter replacement requires no tools and can be accomplished in a few minutes.

Recommended filter replacement period is 4-6 months, depending on the severity of the problem.

-A pack of three replacement sediment filters are available. Order part no: SF-1.

For other water related filtration issues contact the Physitemp Engineering Department.  Other types of filters are available, please contact us for details.

Prevents accumulation of sediment in the stage
Easily installed on existing BFS or TS Series systems
Helps to maintain maximum heat exchange efficiency

WF-1 Specifications
Dimensions:           4.5”D x 12.5”H
Weight                  2.5 lbs.
Filter Size:             5 microns
Water Connections:Self-Sealing

Replacement Filters
Model No. SF-1           3 per box

Custom Thermal Stages for Microscopes

Custom thermal stages are now made for many applications and/or specific microscopes. These devices can maintain stage and specimen temperature anywhere between -20 degrees C and +100 degrees C (depending on model). The custom stages are made to user's specifications and can be a simple modification of the standard TS-,4 stage or a completely new configuration. Both upright and inverted microscopes can be accomodated. Thestandard stage is designed for use with glass slides or cover slips. The TS-,4 thermoelectric controller is easy to operate. Simple controls on the front panel allow the user to adjust temperature which is continuously displayed on the digital readout. The unit is accurate to 0.I°C and requires only a trickle of running wcler for continuous operation.

Below are photographs of some of our custom stages (see TS-,4 data sheet for controller specificafions). Please feel free to contact us to discuss your specific needs.


Designed to accomodate a 35mm petri dish. Collar may be removed for temperature controlled slide applications.

TS-4SPD ( -15 TO +60 degrees C)
TS-4SPDER (-15 to 85 degrees C)


Designed to accomodate a 60mm or 100mm petri dish.

TS-4LPD (-5 TO 60 degrees C)


Designed for the Nikon Diaphot Microscope. Replaces central ring on the Diaphot microscope. Stage is no more then 1mm thicker than ring it replaces. The plate is countersunk for objective clearance. (model also available to fit Olympus IMT)

TS-4DIAPHOT (-5 to +60 degrees C)


Custom micro-injection chamber.

TS-4LV (-15 to +60 degrees C)

TPC-WIN Thermal Profile Controller for Windows

Physitemp Instruments has now added computer control to its existing line of Thermal Microscope Stages. The new WindowsTm based self-installing software allows even the most complex temperature profiles to be described quickly and easily as individual segments of time during which temperature may either remain constant, or change at a constant rate. "Loop-back" feature permits indefinite cycling of temperature. The software provides for ramp and soak temperature control of the thermo-electric stage with 0.1 degrees C accuracy, using an analog signal from the output of the TPC-WIN D/A card supplied with the software. Help screens and pull down menus provide simple to follow guides for configuring, calibrating and operating the software with all Physftemp Thermal Stages.

  • Customer controls stage temperature
  • Windows based software provides easy set-up and operation
  • On-screen display of timing, set-up and operating temperatures
  • Holds specimen at set temperature to within 0.1 degrees C

FDC-1 Freeze Drying Chamber for Microscopes

Pharmaceutical biotechnology has drawn increasing attention to freeze-drying as a critical step in the development and manufacture of new therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Physitemp's FDC-1 microscope stage allows observation of the controlled freeze drying process for characterization purposes. The stage uses thermoelectric (Peltier) heat pumps to achieve product sample temperature as low as -60°C. Accuracy of temperature control is 0.I°C.

The chamber is a cylinder 11/16" high and 4 1/8" O.D.. The bottom of the chamber is approximately 3/8" thick, and is cross drilled to allow circulation of liquid coolant which acts as a heat sink for the thermoelectric heat pumps. The top lip of the chamber is grooved (I/ 16") to accommodate an "O" ring vacuum seal for the stainless steel cover plate. A tapped hole in the wall of the chamber accommodates a compression fitting for attachment to a vacuum pump. A 1/4" diameter hole through the center of the chamber permits the use of transmitted light when viewing samples under test inside the chamber.

A second thermocouple is used to monitor the actual sample temperature and is imbedded directly into the sample. This thermocouple may then be connected to your PC for continuous monitoring of temperature via an optional temperature data acquistion card available from Physitemp. This card, called THERMES, will turn any IBM compatible PC into a precision temperature measurement device. The system is self-calibrating and will maintain 0.1°C stability and clinical accuracy or better when used with our highly accurate Type T thermocouples. The basic THERMES unit is supplied with a pre-calibrated cold-junction reference and single thermocouple input socket in a 25 pin DIN connector housing for connection the the THERMES board.