Let's start with what this project is about:
It's about imaging objects at the micrometer scale, using "off-the-shelf" components (quite literally sometimes off the things-I-took-apart-shelf) and a fair amount of reverse-engineering and hacking.
The heart of the microscope will be a Blu-Ray drive read head. It's an incredible piece of engineering, and the optical/electronic components that we need for our microscope are already in there. The challenge will be to get access to the components, to drive/read them at will, and to integrate the read head with a precision stage.
The scan area will initially be limited to 1mm in one direction and a few mm in the other.
For focusing we will use the quad-photodiode built into the read head.
More detail on all of this will follow in the project logs, as and when we achieve them.