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 http://www.deben.co.uk.

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.

Quorum Technologies Student Prize Winners 2010

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 fourth year and still going strong - attracting interest from undergraduates working in a range of scientific disciplines.

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 Mira Buhecha, Robert Cocker and Isaac Lart, whose projects are detailed below.

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. 

Mira Buhecha
Course: Pharmacy MPharm (Hons) 
Project supervisor: Dr Ananth Pannala
Project title: The development of a beta carotene and quercetin co-encapsulated system using a biodegradable polymer


Image top: The project utilised scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to investigate the size and morphology nanoparticles (PLGA) being developed for drug encapsulation strategies. The image was prepared by cryo-SEM, a process that allows specimens to be prepared and observed at cryo temperatures, typically in the range of -130ºC to -140ºC.



Robert Cocker
Course: Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)
Project supervisor: Dr Jacqueline Elsom
Project title: Human oral epithelial skin models in the investigation of compounds used in oral healthcare formulations research

Image middle: The project utilised SEM and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) to investigate zinc nanoparticle interactions with human epithelial cells.



Isaac Lart
Course: Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)
Project supervisor: Dr Gary Phillips
Project title: Production of a novel scaffold for large scale, soft tissue regeneration

Image bottom: The project used SEM to investigate the morphology and porosity within the macroporous structure of gelatine and calcium alginate biomaterial scaffold constructs.


For more information on the University of Brighton’s Image and Analysis Unit in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science, visit http://www.brighton.ac.uk/pharmacy/consultancy/IAU/index.php?PageId=100

First cryo-SEM workshop in China

The first Quorum Technologies cryo-SEM workshop to be held in China took place last month, and was a great success.

The event was organised by Nanjing Tansi, our distributor in China, and took place at the University of Tongji in Shanghai on 25-26 November.

Professor Zhu Jian from the University’s College of Life Science and Technology hosted the workshop, with delegates attending from academic institutes and companies across China. 

The workshop demonstrated the benefits of the cryo-SEM preparation technique on a range of specimen types, as the University’s Hitachi S3400 SEM is fitted with a Quorum Technologies PP2000T Cryo-SEM Preparation System.

Delegates were also introduced to the recently-launched PP3000T – which builds on the market-leading PP2000T and offers unsurpassed performance, automation and ease of operation.

The micrograph pictured was taken during the workshop and shows starch granules in a maize (corn). In less than 10 minutes, the specimen was frozen in slushy nitrogen and transferred into the preparation chamber to be cryo fractured, sublimated for three minutes at -90ºC and sputter coated with platinum. It was then transferred onto the SEM cold stage for observation. 

Thanks to the University of Tongji for hosting the event and providing the specimen.
 
Click here for further information on Quorum cryo preparation systems.

2010 Global Distributors Meeting

This month saw an international gathering of Quorum Technologies’ partners as they attended the 2010 Global Distributors’ Meeting and saw new products in action for the first time.

Colleagues from around the world recently took the opportunity to share experiences, learn of new techniques and take part in demonstrations of the latest products at the annual Global Distributors Meeting, held over three days at the Quorum Technologies sites in Ashford and Ringmer, South East England.

Managing Director Kevin Breen said: “Our distributors are absolutely essential to the success of our company, and we really appreciated the effort made to attend the meeting here in the UK.”

Alongside a strong contingent from Europe, distributors arrived from Australia, Japan, China, Korea and the United States – all getting a preview of the Q300TD, which is in the final stages of production. 

Kevin added: “As the latest product in our Q-series range of coaters, this meeting was a great time for distributors to ‘test drive’ the Q300TD before we launch it at the end of the year.”

There was also the chance to gain first-hand experience of using the PP3000T, the latest product in the cryo-SEM range. 

“The PP3000T is a totally new, automated system that combines the highest performance with unparalleled ease of use - a combination that should help take this important technique to a much wider user base,” said Kevin. 

“Given the world-wide coverage our distributors provide, it is difficult to bring them together with our technical and marketing teams in the UK. This meeting was a great success in enabling us to get helpful feedback from the distributors and for them to learn in detail about these new products.”

Click here to find the name and contact details for a distributor near you.

Click here for further information on the PP3000T.

New PP3000T cryo preparation system launched

Building on their position as market leaders in cryo-SEM, Quorum Technologies has launched the PP3000T - a totally new, automated cryo-SEM preparation system that combines the highest performance with unparalleled ease of use.

With the market for cryo-SEM seeing steady growth over recent years, the simplicity and ease of use of the new PP3000T Cryo-SEM Preparation System looks set to establish cryo-SEM as a standard, everyday process for SEM specimen preparation.

“Cryo-SEM is the optimum preparation method to obtain superior results for ‘wet’ or beam-sensitive specimens, including biological systems, foods, polymers, pharmaceuticals, oils, foams and many other materials,” explained Sales & Marketing Director Mike Wombwell.

While earlier cryo-SEM systems were seen as labour intensive, the PP3000T has been designed to make the whole process much simpler for the operator, with automation of processes such as transfer device pumping and on-screen ‘help’ videos for each process step.

Mike continued: “One of the main design principles is ease of set-up and use. Control is via a large intuitive touch screen mounted on the spacious Prepdek™ workstation, giving the operator instant access and control of all the key operating parameters.”

The PP3000T is fully automatic and built around a low mass preparation chamber, which includes tools for specimen fracturing and fully automatic sublimation and sputter coating. The preparation chamber is attached directly to the microscope, and the SEM stage and cold trap are gas-cooled with a temperature range down to -192ºC.

Chamberscope images from the preparation chamber and the SEM are displayed on the control screen, and multiple viewing windows give unsurpassed visibility of the specimen and chamber interior.

The PP3000T is the third product to be introduced to the Quorum Technologies’ range in the past year.

Like all other Quorum Technologies products, the PP3000T comes with a generous three-year warranty and specialised support.

Click here for further information on the PP3000T.