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The basic need for a black chamber is to reduce stray light which degrades the optical performance of studies where the signal is weak such as in certain fluorescence measurements or indeed multi-photon microscopy.
These dark chambers impact on the accuracy of the temperature control. As with all temperature controlled environments we are working with a system in equilibrium. The heat losses are balanced by the heater output. Because of black body radiation the heat losses of a black chamber are greater than for a transparent enclosure.
Any attempt to set the heater controller to accept both clear and black enclosures results in a lower performance compromise being made, i.e. the precision of the temperature control will degrade. We believe that this compromise will stress most cells under investigation.
No. Because of black body radiation the heat losses of a black chamber are greater than for a transparent enclosure. As the cloth is removed and later replaced the thermal environment will change sufficiently to stress most cells under observation.
Similar arguments apply for removable black panels.
It is necessary to add baffles to the various openings in the enclosure, e.g. the access doors, so that stray light does not enter the enclosure.
Having made the enclosure black it is difficult to see the stage when changing samples. To overcome this we add a viewing port, which does not disturb the heat equilibrium. Additionally we add internal LED lights to illuminate the enclosure interior without bringing in extra heat.