Surface Science

Company Announcements

Nikon Instruments expanded its distribution of JOEL’s NeoScope benchtop scanning electron microscope (see IBO 3/15/08) to Europe in December 2008.

In January, SPECS GmbH, a developer of surface analysis tools and UHV equipment, acquired Nanosis GmbH, a supplier of nanotechnology control equipment. Nanosis’s operations will remain in Zurich, Switzerland.

FEI’s 2008 revenues grew 1.1%, to $599.2 million (see IBO 2/28/09). Research and Industry sales rose 11.2% to $238.6 million, due to sales to nanotechnology research centers and transmission electron microscope (TEM) shipments. TEM sales led to an 36.5% increase in Life Science sales to $7.8 million. Electronics sales declined 23.5% to $152.1 million, and sales of Service and Components increased 8.0% to $137.7 million due to service contracts. North America, Europe and Asia represented 35%, 39% and 26% of total sales, respectively. North American sales declined 11.2%, European sales rose 15.2% and Asia Pacific sales decreased 0.5%. The company forecasts 2009 revenues to decline, with Electronics as well as Research and Industry sales falling, but Life Sciences sales up.

In February, FEI appointed Richard H. Wills to its Board, increasing the number of members to 11. Mr. Wills is the former chairman, president and CEO of Tektronix.

Veeco Instruments’ 2008 revenues rose 10.0% to $442.8 million (see IBO 3/31/09). Metrology segment sales, which include sales of atomic force microscopes (AFMs), declined 15.0% to $127.9 million. Due to deteriorating business conditions, Veeco announced a restructuring program in the fourth quarter of 2008, including a 26% reduction in workforce (340 employees), centralization of operations, consolidation of business units, increased outsourced manufacturing and a decrease in the number manufacturing sites from eight to four. The program also includes senior management pay cuts, an employee wage freeze and lower discretionary spending. The restructuring is expected to result in annualized savings of more than $36 million. Veeco plans to focus on LED and solar technology and new applications for Metrology instruments.

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Carl Zeiss SMT signed a letter of intent to collaborate on nanomaterials and materials science research.

Product Introductions

SPECS GmbH introduced the SPM 150 Aarhus ultra high vacuum (UHV) AFM with KolibriSensor for the imaging of insulating surfaces on the atomic scale by utilizing a quartz oscillating length extension resonator.

JEOL USA announced support for three software packages for tomography solutions for TEM: SerialEM and IMOD, developed by the University of Colorado; and Chimera, developed by the University of California at San Francisco.

RHK Technology released the UHV AFM/Scanning Tunneling Microscope-Variable Temperature system with variable magnetic field.

< | >