Stuart discusses his role in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering ‘Our goal as a unit is to perform world leading research. This is only possible by having cutting edge equipment supported by experts in the field.’

Stuart says ‘As we are a user facility that services the whole university and external universities, our current work varies significantly from day to day. We are currently working on cryo serial sectioning on self-assembling peptide & chondroitin sulphate hydrogels which aid cartilage growth in knee joints, which is a collaboration between biological engineering and mechanical engineering here at Leeds.

Quorum first installed a PP3010 at Leeds Uni in April 2017, and we have successfully partnered with them across multiple projects.  Stuart says of the Quorum equipment ‘Our Quorum PP3010 is currently the only cryo-SEM equipment in the university, so it is a key part of the research performed. It is reliable, easy to use and is stable enough to perform not only high-resolution imaging but also FIB cutting. We have specifically requested the Quorum P3010 to be installed on our new system with will be delivered at the end of the year. We also have a Quorum carbon coater which is extensively used for high-resolution coating of SEM and TEM samples.

We asked Stuart what the main benefits of the PP3010 cryo-prep system, ‘The main advantage of the quorum system is flexibility. It’s very convenient to be able to fracture, sublime and coat in the same system, and to be able to sublime before quickly checking if the features of interest are revealed then continue to sublime if not. The resolution of the SEM doesn’t seem to be affected by the cryo system, as it is quite important to obtain good quality, high resolution images.

We wanted to share some of these images with you from this exciting project, and we look forward to helping many more customers with these systems in the future (images supplied by Leeds University).

We have linked a couple of the projects relating to the images below.

Lead sulfide scaling in multiphase systems and co-precipitation in the presence of calcium carbonate – ScienceDirect


Dr Anna Walkiewicz, the Quorum Technologies Application Specialist, is running a series of informative and educational webinars across this autumn looking at all aspects of sample preparation. The first talk is on 12th September at 11am BST, until 11.30am BST.

In this series, Dr Walkiewicz will be tackling different processes within the sample preparation process and breaking it down into simple steps, solving common problems and looking at how to improve efficiency and efficacy.

  • CT 01-The Scary Vacuum – 12th September – How will samples behave in the vacuum?
  • CT 02-Dehydration 26th September – Why is it so important? Why do we dehydrate samples? Do we need anything before dehydration? Means of tissue fixation
  • CT 03- Critical Point Drying 10th October – is it really so complex?
  • CT 04- Mounting samples 24th October – exposing the most relevant parts. Coating – why do we coat samples?
  • CT 05- Coating for SEM 7th Nov – What do we use for coating and when? Vacuum level, metal choice, thickness

To register to watch these events, please visit our events page and fill out the form


Springtails are extraordinary creatures, they are arthropods living in soil, plants and decaying material adapted to the environment by developing a special comb-like pattern on their skin. This rhombic-hexagonal structure is responsible for the non-wetting properties of the springtail body.

Sample: springtail colony from orchid bark. Sample preparation and imaging from Anna Walkieicz: bio preparation protocol followed by Critical Point Drying (K850 CPD) and coating with 8nm of Pt (Q150V S plus).


Pollen are small bioaerosol grains consisting of a single cell containing two male gametes essential for sexual reproduction of flowering plants. Typically, these bioaerosols range from 10 to 200 μm, are aerodynamic and low in density. These characteristics are essential for wind-pollination (anemophily) and/or insect-pollination (entomophily) – the transport of pollen from male stamen to the female stigma.

The grain wall is comprised of a tough chemically stable substance known as sporopollenin, which is highly resistant to environmental damage. It is punctuated with small openings called apertures which allows the male gametes to escape during pollination.

Pollen is typically classified by its distinctive structural features, i.e., variation in size, shape, number of apertures and surface texture, which also makes it possible to identify and classify a plant at family and genus level, and often even species level.

Anemophilous (inconspicuous or non-flowering) plants typically produce enormous quantities of very lightweight pollen grains, usually with air-sacs. Whereas entomophilous (insect-loving) plants produce pollen that is relatively heavy, prickly, and sticky to cling to the insects attracted by the flowers’ nectar and showy colours.

SEM micrographs of pollen grains below are from a Papaver Nudicaule (Iceland Poppy) and a Geranium (Wild Purple Cranesbill) plant image imaged using a FE-SEM prepared using the Quorum PP3010 cryo-preparation stage by Dr Mark S. Taylor.


Imaging Spotlight. 

Diatom algae:
One of the most sophisticated frustule structures.
Sample preparation:
Biological tissue processing followed by critical point drying using Quorum Technologies K850 CPD and 8nm Pt coating in Q150VS Plus. Imaged by Dr Anna Walkiewicz, Applications Specialist
Daphnias algies


06/09/2020by quorumtech

To all our customers, suppliers and partners, I hope that you, your family and friends are safe and well. As the effects of the CoViD-19 outbreak are felt more acutely across the world, I wanted to let you know about the measures that Quorum Technologies has put in place to counter the impact of the pandemic on our business and what we are doing to support users of Quorum equipment during this difficult time.

Quorum Technologies remains open for business 

Quorum Technologies specialises in the manufacture of sample preparation equipment for Electron Microscopy, a key technology in medical research, and many of our customers are directly involved in research into the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Therefore, it’s essential we stay in operation to support our customers in this vital work.

Our factory at Judges House remains open and production staff continue to work on-site to build and ship equipment. Staff are required to comply with social-distancing measures while at work and to follow strict guidelines on handwashing and sanitisation of work areas.

In keeping with the instructions issued by the U.K. government, all other staff have been directed to work from home, where possible.

Communication during the crisis 

Judges House has been closed to external visitors until further notice. If you have an existing appointment to visit the factory, your counterpart at Quorum will contact you to arrange an alternative means of holding the meeting.

When contacting Quorum by phone, please use the main switchboard number, +44 (0) 1323 810981, and your call will be redirected to the appropriate number.

Due to an expected increase in absences due to illness, we cannot guarantee that individual staff members will be always available. Therefore, we ask that you direct your calls and emails to teams, rather than to individuals.

Our team emails are:  

Supply of goods and services 

Our Purchasing team has been working closely with our suppliers to ensure a continued supply of key parts and we are currently able to manufacture all products in our standard price list.

However, if global supply chains are disrupted, this may have an impact on our ability to supply certain products. Customers with an urgent need to guarantee supply should contact the sales team as soon as possible to discuss.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to reserve certain products for customers engaged in essential research, in which case we ask for your understanding.

You can reach our sales team via the main switchboard number or by emailing them at [email protected].

Our ability to travel within the UK and overseas is constrained due to government requirements to limit “non-essential” travel. We recognise that our equipment can be vital to research and our team of service engineers stands ready to travel where possible, for example, to help with requests for essential service at medical institutions researching the coronavirus. Where travel is not allowed, we will do our best to offer remote support by phone or email.

You can reach our service team via the main switchboard number or by emailing them at [email protected].

These are extraordinary times. More than ever, we at Quorum are committed to doing what we can to support the work of all the scientists and researchers who use and rely on our equipment. We will keep you updated on further changes but please do not hesitate to contact us in the meantime if you have any concerns or questions.

Thank you for working with Quorum Technologies.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Larkin

Managing Director
Quorum Technologies Ltd.


12/04/2019by quorumtech

Press release: 4 December 2019, Judges Scientific plc

Judges Scientific, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary Quorum Technologies Limited (“Quorum”) has today acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Moorfield Nanotechnology Limited (“Moorfield” or the “Acquisition”), a maker of coating instruments based in Knutsford, Cheshire. The Board expects the Acquisition to be immediately earnings enhancing.



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