Diamond Light Source use Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system in conjunction with a new beamline

Diamond Light Source use a PP3000T cryo preparation system to help align protein crystals prior to X-ray macromolecular crystallography experiments.

Dr Anna Warren is a Senior Support Scientist on VMXm, a new beamline currently under development and construction at Diamond Light Source where it will be used to carry out X-ray macromolecular crystallography experiments.  Diamond offers 26 separate beamlines to aid with research groups in the UK and abroad, allowing them to determine the three dimensional structure of matter, such as protein molecules, on the atomic scale.  This can help to aid with drug design and to assist in the understanding of how these proteins function.  There are several beamlines already running at Diamond which allow the study of protein crystals ranging from 5-100 microns in size. However, as the systems get more complicated, inherently the crystals get smaller, so the beamline currently being built will allow the study of crystals ~500 nm to 5 microns in size. 

Due to the small size of these crystalsDr Warren is using a JEOL SEM to visualise the crystals and align them to the X-ray beam to carry out the experiments. The crystals are very fragile and prone to dehydration. This means they have to be stored, handled and studied at liquid nitrogen temperatures. This is where the Quorum PP3000T cryo-SEM preparation system has been of great useDr Warren takes up the story: “It has allowed us to visualise crystals less than a micron in size at cryogenic temperatures. This technique has never been used in our field in this way so we are currently carrying out a lot of research to understand the best ways of handling and preparing samples to obtain the best quality images. This would be impossible without having the Quorum preparation system and cryo-stage as the crystals would deteriorate in quality. Quorum was very helpful when we started looking at systems to purchase, especially as they have an SEM and cryo-SEM set up in Laughton. We were able to test out our samples in advance to get an understanding of whether it would work for us. Since making our purchase decision, we found that the preparation desk/slushing station have become a vital part of our sample preparation and this has been invaluable for our experiments.  

The image above illustrates the data quality we get routinely – crystals of cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (CPV20). The crystals shown here are in the size range 2.5 to 5 µm. 

The Quorum PP3000T cryo-SEM prep system mounted on a JEOL SEM at the Diamond Light Source

GloQube update

We are delighted to announce that the first production batch of GloQubes has been dispatched to customers.

The GloQube is a compact, fully automated glow discharge system used for the hydrophilisation (wetting) of TEM grid support films and other applications include the modification of surfaces, for example, for the enhancement of polymer bonding.

In addition to the wetting of TEM grids, the GloQube vapour chamber is designed for hydrophilic/hydrophobic (negative or positive) conversions, typically using reagents such as methanol and alkylamine. 

Pictured is our hard working production and final test team, from left to right: Richard, Darren, Adam, Steve and Pete.

For further information and product brochure download visit: GloQube product pages.

Quorum 2015 distributor of the year

Nanjing Tansi Technology Co. Ltd named a distributor of the year

Quorum Technologies is delighted to announce that our Chinese representative Nanjing Tansi Technology Co. Ltd (Tansi) has been named our Distributor of the Year for 2015.

 "The commitment, hard work and professionalism of our worldwide distribution continues to be vital to the continued success and growth of our business,” explained Tony Larkin, managing director of Quorum.

Tony continued, "This year’s award recognises Tansi's strong sales performance over a number of years, but also the excellence of the support that they give to their growing customer base. This applies equally to bench top EM preparation equipment  and to technology-leading cryo-EM preparation systems where they offer a complete sales and support package – including local installation and customer training across China".

The image shows Sunny Bin, sales manager at Tansi, receiving the award from Tony Larkin during the recent distributor meeting at Laughton.

Based in Nanjing and with an office in Beijing, Tansi is a specialist a supplier electron microscopy instrumentation. Please see this link for further information.

Introducing the GloQube - a new glow discharge system for TEM grids and surface modification

The GloQube is a compact, easy to use glow discharge system used for the hydrophilisation (wetting) of TEM grid support films. Other applications include the modification of surfaces, for example, for the enhancement of polymer bonding

The GloQube® is available in two formats. The GloQube-D has two independent vacuum chambers: a clean chamber for applications requiring hydrophobic/hydrophilic conversion, typically using air as the process gas, and a vapour chamber designed for hydrophilic/hydrophobic (negative or positive) conversions, typically using reagents such as methanol and alkylamine. The GloQube-S has a single clean chamber.

With operator safety and ease of use firmly in mind, the vapour delivery system has reusable septum-sealed reagent vials, which insert into a shielded needle using a simple bayonet fitting.

Each chamber can accommodate two 25 x 75 mm glass microscopes slides and automatic valving between chambers maintains cleanliness by preventing cross-contamination. A convenient draw-style chamber door, stage and removable sample trays ensure rapid sample exchange. Both GloQube-D and GloQube-S require a single vacuum pump giving a typical pump time to operational vacuum of around 60 seconds.

Data input and control is by an intuitive touch screen which allows multiple users to rapidly input and store preferred process “recipes”. Typical default glow discharge protocols are loaded as standard.

Like all other Quorum Technologies products, the GloQube® comes with a generous three-year warranty and dedicated specialist support.

For further information, including product brochure download visit: GloQube® product pages.

Quorum excel at the Super Growth awards

We were delighted to be named as a finalist in the Sussex Super Growth Awards for 2016, which took place at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton on 8th March.

There are over 21,000 companies in based in Sussex - a thriving district in the south east of England -  and these awards aim to congratulate the top 60 companies in the county who have achieved significant growth and contributed to the economic success and prosperity of the area. To make the list businesses have to show significant and sustained grown over four years. Quorum achieved a commendable 34th position with a growth rate of 54% and our parent company, Judges Scientific, 13th position with an impressive growth of 95%.

Quorum Technologies’ managing director Tony Larkin says that this is external recognition of the hard work that everyone at Quorum has put in over the past four years. 

"In that time we have moved into new premises, grown revenues and continued to expand our activities and the support we give to our world-wide customer base".

The image shows Quorum's commercial director Bob Hennig (centre) and marketing director Mike Wombwell receiving the award.

Introducing our new managing director

From 1 January 2016, Tony Larkin has been appointed as the new managing director of Quorum Technologies, taking over from Lee Howell who has moved on to new challenges following a successful tenureship. 

Tony is an accomplished executive with extensive technical and commercial experience in the area of instrumentation and process control equipment. He started his career in Japan, as an electronics design engineer, gradually progressing from technical to commercial roles. As a sales manager, he was responsible for selling precision instrumentation across a wide range of markets, from semiconductors to steel. Immediately prior to joining Quorum, he held several managerial positions at Spectris, most recently as general manager (Australia) at Spectris’ PANalytical subsidiary, a manufacturer of analytical x-ray equipment. 

Tony, who is originally from Ireland, has a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from INSEAD.

New website launched

Introducing our new website

Our new site has been designed to meet the changing needs of our customers. If you are looking for our products, including the market leading Q series of coaters and cryo preparation systems, then our Systems and Equipment page has extensive information in a new clearly laid out format. 

If you are looking for support for our many legacy products then our Product Support pages offers help and advice, including a useful Previous Product Identification section.

We now have number of useful product and applications videos, including demonstrations of controlled pulsed carbon cord and ramped carbon rod evaporation. Q series and PP3010T cryo preparation presentations are available in Japanese and Mandarin. The Applications Images section includes an extensive gallery of cryo-SEM images, mostly taken by our many users and spanning varied applications from Aromatherapy lotion through to Zea mays (maize plant) starch granules and many in between.

For our Quorum distributors (partners) we have a new and extensive off-line area available from this link.

New Quorum EM demonstration facility

The 11th June saw the formal opening of a new state-of-the-art cryo-SEM and analysis suite at Laughton

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”.

Quorum 2014 distributor of the year

Elexience, France named as distributor of the year - again!

Quorum Technologies is delighted to announce that Elexience, who cover France and French-speaking Switzerland has been named our Distributor of the Year for 2014.

 "The hard work, commitment and professionalism of our worldwide distribution network is absolutely essential to the continued success of our business,” explained Mike Wombwell, Marketing Director at Quorum Technologies.
“This year’s award recognises a special achievement by Elexience, as they also won this award last year (2013)".

Thierry Grentut, sales director of Elexience, said: "we started distributing high technology scientific equipment more than 30 years ago and Quorum Technologies is one of our major long term and key partners. We have built together with the Quorum team a real partnership, sharing experiences and ideas to improve the instrument capabilities and to launch new solutions corresponding to our customers expectations. Today, the Elexience team is very proud to receive this award. We are committed to further developing Quorum's leading presence in the markets Elexience is responsible for". 

Mike added: “Elexience has not only delivered record sales into the French market, but also continued to offer excellent after sales support to its growing customer base.”

The image shows Thierry Grenut receiving the award from Bob Hennig, commercial director of Quorum.

Based near Paris, Elexience is a specialist a supplier of high technology instrumentation including  electron microscopes and related preparation equipment. Please see this link for further information on Elexience.

New distributor

Introducing our LOT QuantumDesign - our distributor in Germany and Austria.

We are delighted to welcome LOT-QuantumDesign GmbH as our distributor in Germany and Austria.

Based in Darmstadt, LOT-QuantumDesign has a wealth of experience in the electron microscopy and imaging market.
Dr.Joachim Weiss, product manager at LOT QD says: "We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity to represent Quorum. We believe that the high-quality Quorum products will be a great addition to our existing product line. Combined with the great work Gala Instrumente has done, we have a good, solid basis to build on."

For further information please visit LOT-QuantumDesign or contact Jan Kretschmer (kretschmer@lot-qd.de).