Our History

Quorum Technologies was founded in 2001, but the history of its product brands go back much further. The original Polaron Ltd company was at the forefront of electron microscopy (EM) sample preparation, having pioneered scanning electron microscopy (SEM) sputter coating and introduced the first SEM critical point dryer back in the early 1970s. Quorum Technologies today continues this fine traditional and remains a market-leader in preparation techniques such as sputter coating, critical point drying and cryo-SEM.

The timeline below includes an overview of key dates in our history.


  • Polaron Equipment Ltd founded in Hertfordshire, England, and began supplying EM consumables and manufacturing EM sample preparation instruments.


  • E3000 critical point dryer introduced, soon followed by the large chamber E3100, which is still in production.
  • E5000 SEM sputter coater introduced - the first commercially successful bench top sputter coater for SEM.
  • E5100 'Cool' sputtering system introduced. Importantly this product refined SEM sputtering techniques, as the E5100 could sputter finer (smaller) grain coatings with a process that gave much reduced thermal damage to specimens.


  • Polaron Equipment Ltd acquired by Microscience Division of Bio-Rad. Rapid expansion of Polaron range led to larger manufacturing premises at Hemel Hempstead, north of London.
  • E7400 cryo-SEM system introduced.
  • H2500 introduced – the first commercial laboratory microwave processor designed specifically for histopathology and EM.
  • In1987 Bio-Rad Microscience Division acquired Emscope Laboratories; a leading manufacturer of EM preparation equipment. Products such as the SC500 and SC650 sputter coaters, TB500 carbon coater, SP2000 cryo transfer System were integrated into existing product range.
  • Emitech Ltd was founded by former employees of Emscope Laboratories.
  • In 1988 Emitech Ltd introduced the 'K' series of EM preparation instruments.


  • In 1991 the Polaron range was sold to VG Microtech, then a division of Fisons Instruments. Manufacturing moved to Uckfield, Sussex and the Polaron brand name was re-introduced.
  • The consumables (catalogue) business moved to Fisons Scientific Equipment (now Fisher Scientific) in Loughborough, UK, and operated as a separate business. The accessories product line was later discontinued by Fisher.
  • In 1996 Fisons Instruments (including VG Microtech) acquired by Thermo Instruments.
  • In 1998 VG Microtech amalgamated with sister company VG Scientific and moved to premises in East Grinstead, West Sussex.


  • Quorum Technologies Ltd formed in August 2001. 
  • The Polaron range was acquired by Quorum Technologies Ltd in November from its then owner, Thermo VG Scientific with the new business operating from Newhaven, East Sussex.


  • Quorum Technologies Ltd acquired the ongoing business and assets of Emitech Ltd in a friendly acquisition supported by the directors of both companies.


  • Quorum Technologies Ltd relocated from Newhaven to larger premises at Ringmer, East Sussex.


  • Quorum Technologies Ltd business reorganised. Ashford premises dedicated to manufacturing Emitech range and Ringmer premises dedicated to manufacturing Polaron products.


  • QuorumTechnologies acquired by Judges Scientific plc in June. See: www.judges.uk.com
  • New Q series of sputter/carbon coaters introduced with the launch of the Q150T 


  • Q150R launched - a range of rotary-pumped coaters for SEM applications, the second in the Q150 series.
  • PP3000T launched, the first in a series of fully-automated cryo-SEM preparation systems.


  • New Q300 series of large specimen sputter coaters for SEM preparation and thin film applications introduced, with the Q300R TQ300T D and Q300T T launched.


  • PP3010T launched, the latest in a series of automated cryo-SEM preparation systems.


  • Quorum Technologies relocated to a new, purpose-built factory and offices in the village of Laughton in East Sussex - bringing together the Kent-based specimen preparation division (previously Emitech) and cryo preparation division in a single modern facility.




  •  April. Launch of GloQube glow discharge system for TEM grids and surface modifications.

Please note:

Polaron Controls (now Eaton)

Since divesting the Polaron EM Ranges in 1985, the original Polaron Controls company has remained based in Watford, UK, but is no longer trading in the EM field. To view its website visit: www.polaron.co.uk.

Quorum Technologies Inc.

Quorum Technologies Inc. is a completely separate company based in Canada and are not connected with Quorum Technologies Ltd.