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Q150 coater sales pass the 500 mark

The phenomenally successful Q150 sputter/carbon coater recently achieved yet another notable milestone when the 500th model was dispatched from our Ashford factory in the UK.

“This landmark was achieved in only 20 months and is a reflection of how well the product has been received within the electron microscopy (EM) specimen preparation market,” explained Matthew Backshall, Operations Director at Quorum Technologies. 

“An added bonus for customers is that the Q150 series is now typically available for dispatch within only one week of acceptance of purchase orders. This is the direct result of the implementation of new, more efficient, lean production processes along with the dedication and hard work of our Ashford team.”

The Q150 can be tailored to suit the needs of most EM coating applications. It is available with rotary or turbo pumping and in three formats: sputter coating, carbon evaporation or both combined in a single space-saving bench-top design.

Built with intuitive touch-screen control, the Q150 series allows quick access to both stored and customer-entered coating ‘recipes’. The performance and flexibility of the system is further enhanced by a wide range of ‘drop-in’ specimen stages and coating head inserts. Other optional accessories include film thickness measurement and glow discharge.

Like all Quorum Technologies products, the Q150 series comes with a generous three-year warranty.

Click here for details of the Q150R series.

Click here for details of the Q150T series.

Q150 series coaters available for next week delivery

Due to the unprecedented demand for the new Q150 series coaters, we are now able to offer delivery within one week of receiving your order.

Following the launch of the Q150T series in December 2009 and the Q150R series in June 2010, we have seen high levels of demand for this new range of coaters.

In direct response, we have successfully introduced efficient new production procedures at our Ashford facility, where these instruments are manufactured. 

These improvements have provided the extra production capacity required and, importantly, reduced lead times to their lowest-ever levels, meaning that almost all Q150 variants are now available for delivery within one week of receiving your order. 

Should you need a coater delivered quickly, please contact your local distributor or our UK sales team on and we will be pleased to help with your order.

Click here for details of the Q150R series.

Click here for details of the Q150T series.

Competition to win an iPad 2

We are looking for the best short application note and/or image series completed using Quorum Technologies preparation instruments, and offering entrants the chance to win an iPad 2.

It is forty years since the launch of our first sputter coating and critical point drying systems in 1971. To mark this occasion, we are keen to find out how our many customers are using our instruments to fulfill their research needs. If you have a story or image(s) to share, we’d like to know about it.

Work could have been carried out using current Quorum Technologies equipment, or older instrumentation with brand names, such as Emitech, Polaron, Bio-rad, VG etc. Instruments could include:

• Cryo-SEMs (PP3000T, PP2000T, K1250X etc)
• Sputter coaters, carbon coaters and vacuum evaporators
• Critical point dryers (E3000, K850 etc)
• RF plasma reactors (K1050X, PT7150 etc)
• Freeze dryers (K750X, K775X etc)

The deadline for entries is 31 January 2012, and these can be forwarded as Adobe, JPG or Word documents with photographs embedded or as separate email attachments. Original black and white or colourised images are permitted and should be in JPG format.

The prize winner will be announced online and notified by email on 29 February 2012.

For more details please contact your local distributor or our UK sales team on

Quorum Technologies Student Prize Winners 2011

Three students from the University of Brighton have received an award through this year’s Quorum Technologies student prize scheme, having demonstrated exceptional use of electron microscopy in their final year projects. Our student prize scheme, in partnership with the University of Brighton, is now in its fifth year and still going strong – attracting interest from undergraduates working in a range of scientific disciplines.

For the first time, students were able to use the impressive new scanning electron microscopy (SEM) instrumentation that was installed and commissioned earlier this year in the Image and Analysis Unit.

This year, three prizes of £200 were awarded for final year undergraduate projects that the judges felt had made particularly good use of electron microscopy. The winners were Oliver Kitt, Benjamin Thompson and Hamidullah Waizy, whose projects are detailed below.

The judges were impressed by both Hamidullah and Ben’s ability to quickly learn to work independently on the SEM and EDS, together with the quality of EDS analysis undertaken and the effective use of elemental quantification in their projects.

They were also impressed by Oliver’s use of the high magnification images (obtained using the new Carl Zeiss Sigma FE-SEM) to provide visual evidence to support novel scientific findings, which would not otherwise have been possible, and was thus clear evidence of the important contribution SEM made to the project.

The prize is held within the University’s Image and Analysis Unit in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science and awarded on an annual basis.

Hamidullah Waizy
Course: BSc (Hons) Geology
Project supervisor: Dr Norman Moles
Project title: Petrography and geochemistry of metasediments and cherts associated with the Duntanlich barite deposit, Aberfeldy, Scotland.
Synopsis: The project utilised Zeiss EVO LS15 SEM and Oxford Inca X-Max Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) system to investigate the elemental composition of geological samples. The results improve the understanding of the formation of barium-enriched metasediments and cherts at a Scottish geological site.
Images: Backscattered SEM images of thin section geological samples that were analysed for elemental composition using EDS.

Benjamin Thompson
Course: BSc (Hons) Geology
Project supervisor: Dr Martin Smith
Project title: A post-magmatic evolution of the St Austell granite, Cornwall: Alteration and mineralisation.
Synopsis: Benjamin’s project was centred on SEM EDS analysis of his samples. 
Images: Backscattered SEM images of a thin section geological samples were analysed for elemental composition using EDS, to investigate the post-magmatic evolution of kaolinised areas at a Cornwall geological site. 

Oliver Kitt
Course: BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
Project supervisor: Dr Ian Cooper
Project title: Investigating the morphological changes of Klebsiella pneumoniae biofilms on biomedical devices after exposure to sub-therapeutic concentrations of anti-bacterial actives.
Synopsis: The project utilised high resolution FEG-SEM to investigate the morphological changes to bacteria and biofilms in response to exposure to anti-bacterial agents.
Images: (Left) High resolution (x100,000 magnification) FEG-SEM image displaying biofilm formation and possible ‘pioneer colonies’. (Right) High resolution (x360,000 magnification) FEG-SEM image showing bacterial cells with connecting pili for plasmid exchange.


Electron Microscopy Sciences appointed as sole US distributor

Building on our mutually successful long-term relationship, we have further strengthened our links by appointing Electron Microscopy Sciences (EMS) as our sole and exclusive distributor for the complete range of Quorum Technologies products in the United States.

Based in Hatfield, Philadelphia, EMS is the leading supplier of electron microscopy (EM) consumables and supplies into the US market. For many years EMS has successfully sold and supported a range of specimen preparation instruments, including sputter coaters and critical point dryers, manufactured at our Ashford production facility in the UK.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with EMS,” explained Bob Hennig, General Manager at Quorum Technologies' Ashford site. “We know from experience that they have an excellent sales and service support network and understand the needs of our US customers.”

Stacie Kirsch, President of EMS, said recently at the launch of their new catalogue: “The biggest addition to our already extensive product range is the newly signed and agreed contract for exclusive representation of the complete line of Quorum Technologies instruments.” 

She continued: “Many of you will know we have sold and supported the line for over 20 years, but only recently – and to benefit the microscopy community at large – did we take on exclusively the complete range. The new agreement offers our valued customers the ability to get everything they need all under one roof.”

Click here to visit the Electron Microscopy Sciences website.

First PP3000T installed at the University of Brighton

A PP3000T, the first of our latest generation cryo preparation systems for scanning electron microscopy (SEM), has been installed and commissioned in School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Brighton.

The PP3000T has significant advances in cryo preparation technology combined with automation and simplicity of use, making it ideal for both dedicated and non-specialist user environments.

Dr Jonathan Salvage is pictured (top) with the newly-installed PP3000T. For further information on the impressive new imaging facility and investment in electron microscopy facilities, click here

Cryo-SEM is the optimum technique for observing a wide range of ‘wet’ or beam-sensitive SEM specimens – examples include foods, polymers, cement and pharmaceuticals. It is particularly useful for a wide range of biological material, with the ability to capture a ‘snapshot’ of an event and maintain interrelationships between fauna and flora and surface secretions and exudates, if present. 

This is well illustrated by some recent images taken at the University of Brighton facility – an  example of which is pictured (bottom). For more information and photos of the hitchhiking mite, click here.

Click here  for further information on the PP3000T.

Distributor of the Year 2010

Quorum Technologies is delighted to announce that Nanjing Tansi Technology Co. Ltd of China is our Distributor of the Year for 2010.

“The strength, commitment and professionalism of our worldwide distribution is absolutely essential to the success of our business,” explained Mike Wombwell, Sales and Marketing Director at Quorum Technologies. “This year’s award recognises the impressive achievements of Tansi, a company that has substantially grown sales in China year on year since becoming our partner back in 2005.”

Mike presented the Distributor of the Year 2010 award to Tansi during a recent visit to their impressive new  Nanjing offices.

Sunny Yang, Sales and Marketing Manager at Tansi, commented: “We are delighted to receive this award. Quorum Technologies has excellent products and they give us very good support. We are also pleased that they have a strong new product development programme.”

Mike added: “Tansi has not only demonstrated robust sales growth, but also continued to offer truly excellent after sales support – wherever customers are based. Other highlights during 2010 included Tansi successfully introducing our new Q150 range of coaters, and installing the first of a growing number of our market-leading cryo-SEM systems into the Chinese market.”

Founded in 2004, Nanjing Tansi Technology Co. Ltd specialises in the sales and support of optical and electron microscopy preparation instruments in China.

Click here to visit Nanjing Tansi Technology’s website.

Q300 SEM large specimen sputter coater series launched

This month sees the further expansion of Quorum Technologies’ highly successful ‘Q’ series of vacuum coating systems, with the introduction of the Q300 series - a range of large specimen sputter coaters for SEM preparation and thin film applications.

The Q300 is available in three formats: the turbomolecular-pumped Q300T T is ideal for coating both oxidising and non-oxidising metals onto large specimens (up to an 8” wafer); the Q300R T is a low-cost, rotary-pumped version for noble metals only; and the Q300T D is a dual head system that allows independent sequential sputtering of two metals without the need to break vacuum - making it ideal for many thin film applications. 

Sales & Marketing Director Mike Wombwell believes this large-format series will build upon the success of the Q150 series that was launched during 2009/10. 

“The three Q300 models cover many different user requirements and specimen sizes,” explained Mike. “The multiple sputtering head design ensures even coating deposition over a single large specimen or multiple 
small specimens. 

"Flexibility and economy are key concepts with the Q300 series. Although primarily designed for large specimens, sputtering can be limited to a single source to allow economical sputtering of smaller specimens, such as SEM stubs. 

” Featuring an intuitive colour touch screen, plus a range of easy-to-change specimen stages, the Q300 series combines state-of-the-art design with an exceptionally high level of performance and flexibility. Among the options is a film thickness monitor for measurement and control of coating thicknesses. 

Like all other Quorum Technologies products, the Q300 series comes with a generous three-year warranty and specialised support. 

Click here for further information on the Q300R T.

Click here for further information on the Q300T D.

Click here for further information on the Q300T T.

Judges Scientific plc acquires Deben UK Limited

Judges Scientific plc, Quorum Technologies’ parent company, has announced the acquisition of Deben UK Limited – a company that designs, manufactures and sells devices used to enable or improve the observation of objects under a microscope.

On Monday 21 March Judges Scientific announced that they had bought 51% of Deben UK Limited. Many Quorum Technologies customers will already be familiar with the company and their products – motor control systems, micro-tensile stages, cooling stages, digital imaging for electron microscopes and beam blanking equipment.

Suffolk-based Deben was established in 1987 and has been managed by Gary Edwards since 1996. It is expected that Gary will continue as Managing Director for the foreseeable future.

Judges Scientific believes this acquisition is an excellent addition to their group. Their chairman said: “We’re delighted to expand our electron microscopy business through the acquisition of Deben. This is a profitable and cash-generative business, and we expect the transaction to immediately enhance earnings.” 

Though Quorum Technologies and Deben operate in the same electron microscopy markets, each will continue to be independent businesses in their own right.

Kevin Breen, Quorum Technologies’ Managing Director, said: “The acquisition of Deben highlights Judges Scientific’s desire to be a major player in our markets. Our mutual customers will benefit from this exciting new relationship.”

Judges Scientific also announced their 2010 financial year results this month, with revenues advancing 42% and profit before tax rising by 75%.

For more information on Deben UK Ltd, visit

Quorum Technologies appoints new Technical Sales Manager

Quorum Technologies is delighted to welcome Dr Heather Dyson to our Sales and Marketing team. Bringing a wealth of technical and commercial experience to the team, Heather joins us as Technical Sales Manager.

Heather’s role will be primarily focused on the UK, but she will also be supporting some of our worldwide sales activities. Her vast experience will be of great benefit to the company, as she joins us from her most recent role as the Technical Support Specialist at Agar Scientific.

Having spent her early career at the University of Leeds, Heather managed and maintained the electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction facilities in the Department of Textiles, and developed the applications of these techniques to textiles and other materials.

After gaining an MSc in Textiles Technology in 2001, Heather moved to the University’s School of Civil Engineering and completed a PhD, centred on the characterisation of engineering materials. Following that she went on to do postdoctoral work with Professor Rik Brydson and Professor Ian Richardson on the nanostructure and degradation of cements.

As of 1 February 2011, Heather will primarily be based at our Ashford specimen preparation facility in Kent, but will also have involvement with the expanding cryo preparation division located in Ringmer, East Sussex.