a method of qualitative micro-chemical analysis based on the use of reactions in which crystals of characteristic shape are formed. The crystals are examined under a microscope at a magnification of 80–200 X. A polarization microscope is used in determining certain characteristics of the crystal, such as the angles between faces. Ultraviolet or electron microscopy is sometimes also used in studying crystals.
Most reactions in crystal microscopy are highly sensitive: tenths and hundredths of a microgram of a substance in a drop of a solution can be identified. Crystal microscopy is mainly used for analyzing very small objects, such as inclusions in metals. The method is also convenient for the analysis of minerals and alloys, as well as for the identification of organic compounds.