Surface Science

Company Announcements

For the second quarter ending June 30, sales for FEI advanced 15.7%, 6.0% organically, to $259.4 million (see IBO 9/15/16). Driven by strong demand for high-resolution systems from structural and cell biology customers, Science segment sales jumped 29.1% organically to account for 53% of revenues. Accounting for 47% of revenues, Industrial sales fell 14.2% organically due to weakness in semiconductor markets. Operating margin contracted eight percentage points to 12.5% as a result of increased R&D and SG&A expenses.

In September, Leica Microsystems named Associated Microscope Company as the exclusive representative for its educational microscopy solutions in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, and nonexclusively in Virginia.

In October, Leica Microsystems named Martin Microscope as an exclusive distributor for industrial solutions in South Carolina and as a nonexclusive distributor in North Carolina.

AMETEK Scientific Instruments announced in September a partnership with the Laboratory of Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry—École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne to promote, develop and sell the Lab’s soft probe technology for scanning electrochemical systems. Advantages of the lab’s technology include flexibility and the ability to form a permanent contact with the sample.

Olympus announced in October that the University of Texas at Dallas will host an Olympus Discovery Center, housing advanced light microscopy systems.


Product Introductions

In August, FEI launched the Talos L120C S/TEM for life and materials science for 2D and 3D imaging. It is designed for users with various levels of experience.

In September, Shimadzu launched the SPM-9700HT, featuring five times–faster image acquisition compared to the previous model and easier cantilever replacement.

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research released in September the budget-priced Econo Board Probes for AFM, the first in a new line of SurfRider Probes. They are available in eight different models covering resonance frequencies of 13–300 kHz and are suitable for all brands of AFM systems.

In September, Bruker Nano Surfaces launched a scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) capability for its Dimension Icon AFM. The PeakForce SECM mode provides simultaneous capture of topographical, electrochemical, electrical and mechanical maps. Applications include nanoscale observations of redox reactions and their kinetics.

In October, Hitachi High-Technologies launched the Advanced High Voltage CD-SEM*1-CV5000 Series for semiconductor device manufacturing. It is capable of measuring high aspect ratio trenches and contact holes, and can perform overlay measurements of device patterns.

ZEISS introduced in October the ZEISS Axio Observer family of inverted microscopes for life science research, consisting of three microscope stands. A new feature is Autocorr, which allows adaption of immersion objectives to varying sample carriers and imaging conditions.

In September, Andor, an Oxford Instruments company, introduced the Dragonfly high speed confocal imaging platform, supporting multiple high-contrast imaging techniques. It features a new software platform, Fusion, for real-time volumetric image rendering.


Orders/Sales of Note

In August, FEI announced the shipment of its 1,000th Helios DualBeam FIB-SEM system to a semiconductor customer. The product family was introduced in 2006 and is the company’s best selling product line.


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