It has become increasingly obvious that infrared microspectroscopy can be the analysis tool of choice when determining the chemical composition of biological and biomedical samples. Frequently, fluorescence illumination is required for sample characterization, which previously required the use of a separate optical microscope. There has also been a need in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for a single tool for visualizing particle contaminants on integrated wafers as well as the ability to chemically determine their nature. There is now a single microscope platform for conducting rapid Nomarski differential interference contrast and fluorescence illumination sample visualization as well as infrared analysis. This novel infrared microscope has applicability to many fields of investigation, including pharmacology, forensics, cell biology, histology, gemology, and geology.