The facility was formally opened by Mr Mikio Takagi of Hitachi High-Technologies Europe and is the result of a collaboration between Quorum Technologies, Hitachi High Technologies and Oxford Instruments. At the heart of the new facility is an Hitachi SU8230 field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) fitted with technology-leading Oxford Instruments X-MaxN150 x-ray microanalysis and Quorum PP3010T cryo preparation systems.
Lee Howell, managing director of Quorum Technologies said: “This world-class cryo-SEM suite represents another key step in our 40 year history of setting the standard in sample preparation technologies. The FEG-SEM and EDS capabilities will further accelerate our product development plan, whilst allowing the hosting of high resolution cryo-SEM demonstrations and workshops”.
Potential customers from around the world will be able to prepare, image and analyse their own samples, supported by Quorum’s team of microscopists.
Lee continued “This facility was made possible by a unique collaboration between Quorum, Hitachi and Oxford Instruments, with a shared goal of further developing cryogenic preparation techniques and their applications. This includes utilisation of cryo EDS applications in lifesciences and for soft materials. We are truly excited by the possibilities of the new venture”.
The Hitachi SU8230 offers clean vacuum, sensitive electron detection at low currents and sub-nanometre resolution at low kV making it ideal for advanced cryo imaging and analysis. Mike Dixon of Hitachi High-Technologies Europe says: “Together with Quorum we will work to optimise the integration and workflows of cryo-EM, and will also use the unique contrast capabilities of the SU8230 to generate more valuable data from each sample. A key aspect of this collaboration is to identify and develop new applications for cryo-EM in the areas of energy, healthcare and nanomaterials. Hitachi’s UK and global applications teams look forward to working in partnership with Quorum and Oxford Instruments to achieve this”.