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News

  • Phenom-World launches the Phenom Pro and ProX Generation 5 SEMs

    The brand new Phenom Pro and ProX Generation 5 desktop SEMs are the high performace desktop SEMs that provide accurate and reliable results for a wide range of applications from materials science and industrial manufacturing to electronics, life sciences and many more.

    What is NEW with Phenom SEMs Generation 5?

    • Enhanced imaging thanks to new electronics and an improved lens
    • Imaging of materials that are very sensitive to beam damage
    • Excellent imaging quality of non-conductive samples thanks to a long-lifetime, high-brightness CeB6 source
    • Wide range of detectors for applications that require material contrast as well as surface-sensitive information.

    Click here for further information or contact our Sales Engineers on 01582 764334.

  • NUWPEC Approved Framework Supplier

    Lambda Photometrics is an approved supplier within the National Universities Working Party on Electronic Components. The company was awarded Lot 3 in the current framework agreement: Test & Measurement Equipment. Feel free to call us on 01582 764334 for exact details of the supplier discounts we offer for your institution.

    This framework agreement is available to members of a significant number of university purchasing consortia. These bodies include NWUPC (North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium), LUPC (London Universities Purchasing Consortium) and SUPC (Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium).

    These consortia work collaboratively in conjunction with framework agreements to offer their members access to the highest quality products, goods and services at the most competitive prices, to save time and resources, and to access professional support from fellow members.

    See below for the purchasing consortia for which Lambda Photometrics is listed as a supplier:

    North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium
    http://www.nwupc.ac.uk/our-members

    Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium
    https://www.supc.ac.uk/about-us/our-members/our-members

    Crescent Purchasing Consortium
    https://www.thecpc.ac.uk/members/regions.php

    Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales
    http://www.hepcw.ac.uk/members/

    Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges
    http://www.apuc-scot.ac.uk/

    North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium
    http://www.neupc.ac.uk/our-members

    London Universities Purchasing Consortium
    http://lupc.ac.uk/list-of-members.html

    The University Caterers Organisation
    http://www.tuco.ac.uk/

    To speak with a Sales/Applications Engineer please call 01582 764334 or click here to email

    Lambda Photometrics is a leading UK Distributor of Characterisation, Measurement and Analysis solutions with particular expertise in Electronic/Scientific and Analytical Instrumentation, Laser and Light based products, Optics, Electro-optic Testing, Spectroscopy, Machine Vision, Optical Metrology, Fibre Optics and Microscopy.

  • New products, 3.39 Interferometer on show and ZeGage demo system for on-site demonstration

    Zygo Verifire 3.39 Infrared Interferometer

    After presenting the Zygo Verifire 3.39 Infrared Interferometer at the laser exhibition in Munich, Zygo Germany have the system available in their Weiterstadt demo lab for customer measurements and system demonstrations.

    The system will be only be available until the middle of August. Please let us know soon whether you or your colleagues would be interested in a demonstration or sending test samples for measurement.

    Zygo ZeGage Plus demonstration system coming to Lambda soon

    We will have the Zygo ZeGage Plus Non-Contact Optical Surface Profiler available for on-site demonstrations soon. With a range of objectives available from 1x to 50x we can measure most surfaces of interest.

    The ZeGage Plus profiler can measure a wider variety of surfaces – ranging from very rough to super smooth, with sub-nanometer precision, independent of field of view. Surface finishes may include ground, honed, lapped, polished, and super-polished on materials such as glass, ceramic, and metal. Contact us to book your demo.

    New high lateral resolution laser interferometers

    Zygo have introduced the VeriFire HD and VeriFire HDX Interferometers.

    The Verifire HD is designed with modular options so you can configure your system with the exact mix of options you need. Some available configuration options are:

    • Point source or coherent noise reduction (artefact suppression)
    • 5.3 or 1.4 megapixel camera
    • Fixed zoom, or discrete motorised turret zoom (1x, 1.7x, 3x)

    The Verifire HDX system has an all-new optical design that was rigorously engineered to support pixel-limited performance for its 3.4k x 3.4k (11.6 megapixel) sensor, delivering enhanced imaging which reveals surface features that have been difficult to discern with lower resolution interferometers. This ultrahigh spatial resolution doesn't come at the expense of speed. The system operates at a frame rate of 96 Hz, at full resolution – up to 10X faster than other high resolution interferometers that can have limited capability due to noise entering the much slower measurement.

    ZPS - Absolute Position Measurement System

    ZYGO's new ZPS™ System measures absolute position using ultra-compact optical sensors that are easily integrated into high-precision applications such as deformable mirrors and lens positioning. The optical sensor system provides up to 64 synchronised channels of high-precision, non-contact, absolute position measurement over a range of 1.2 mm. Measurement resolution is 0.01 nm with ≤ 1 nm/day measurement stability.

    The optical sensors do not generate heat and are insensitive to electromagnetic interference, making the ZPS System ideal for high-precision applications that may be affected by these factors. The ultra-compact sensors connect to the compact centralised enclosure via fibre optic cables.

     

    Demonstration systems at Lambda available for sale

    We have a VeriFire QPZ Interferometer and a Nexview Optical Surface Profiler at Lambda available for demonstration and also available for sale. The QPZ is equivalent to the new VeriFire but with the old style wired remote control.

    The Nexview is the top of the range Optical Surface Profiler from Zygo and can measure super-smooth samples using SmartPSI technology, measure in colour without sacrificing metrology capability and is automated for ease of use for users. Contact us for demonstrations or price enquiries.

    To speak with a Sales & Applications Engineer please call 01582 764334 or click here to email.

  • Scratches and Digs – measure on curves and large areas now!

    Scratch/Dig measurement systems from Savvy Optics and Dioptic have begun life looking at flat surfaces up to 100mm square or 45mm diameter respectively.

    Recent advances (through demand) now allow for measurements to be made over large flat areas using the SavvyInspector SIF-16 which can cover an area of 200mm x 400mm. On parts that larger, full part mapping is essential. The new “autoscan” feature allows unmanned scanning and documentation of the entire optical surface as the system steps and photographs the entire part in 9 x 12 mm position labelled images and puts all images in a folder for review by an inspector.

    The ARGOS system from Dioptic can now measure curved surfaces also. They have shown that they can measure a 1” diameter plano-convex lens of focal length of f = 150mm using a 4° tilted camera setup. This method is fast and less prone to errors.

    The ARGOS system can also measure edge chips and coating holes. It can also be automated for high throughput and productivity. There is also a version for measuring fibre cable end caps.

    The surface recognition performed by ARGOS recognises the tiniest defects during a running production process. The detection device for the surface recognition shows holes down to 4 µm and scratches that are as small as 1 µm wide. In addition to holes and pits, other recognisable surface defects include sleeks, streaks, coating defects, orange skin, bubbles and inclusions in the material that are close to the surface, grey coloration/blurriness and damage on the edges. All defects are shown on the screen.

    To speak with a Sales & Applications Engineer please call 01582 764334 or click here to email.

  • Technical and Application Notes for the SRS BGA244 Binary Gas Analyser

    Stanford Research Systems BGA244

    The BGA244 Binary Gas Analyser from Stanford Research Systems (SRS) is a new product harnessing the fundamental physical principles of acoustic resonance to measure the speed of sound in a gas mixture and provide gas ratio measurements with errors as low as 100ppm. This technique has advantages over conventional thermal conductivity binary gas analysers with SRS’ implementation providing a dramatic improvement in performance and value:

    • Ten times better accuracy
    • Thousand times better stability
    • Lower cost of ownership due to reduced installation cost and maintenance
    • Greater flexibility with ~500 pre-calibrated gases and no recalibration to change gases

    To learn more about the physical principles behind the BGA244, its use in many diverse applications and the comparisons with other binary gas analysers, the following series of technical/application notes are available. Simply click on each link to download the document you require. For further information or to ask any questions, please do contact us on 01582 764334 or click here to email

    Tech Note - BGA244 Physics Overview

    Tech Note - Comparing Thermal Conductivity Analysers with the BGA244

    Tech Note - BGA244 vs Composer Elite

    Tech Note - Using Pressure Transducers with the BGA244

    Tech Note - Gases Measured by the BGA244

    Tech Note - BGA244 Diborane in Hydrogen

    Tech Note - BGA244 Measuring Mixtures of Nitrogen and Hydrogen

    Tech Note - BGA244 Long Term Stability for Measurement of Trimethylindium

    Tech Note - BGA244 High Concentration Ozone Measurements

    Tech Note - BGA244 Creating User Defined Gases

    Tech Note - BGA244 Monitoring Gas Quality in Helium Recovery Systems

    Tech Note - BGA244 Carbon Dioxide and the Relaxation Correction

    Tech Note - BGA244 Measurement of Argon-Air and Krypton-Air Mixtures for Insulating Windows

    Tech Note - BGA244 Measurement of Methane in Argon

  • Available now: The first Sony Pregius CMOS cameras with 1 micron exposure time

    Lambda Photometrics are pleased to announce the first CMOS cameras from Baumer with an exposure time down to 1µs in the mainstream segment of digital industrial cameras. The CX models including the second generation of Sony Pregius sensors feature exposure times ranging from 1µs to 60s. Available with up to 12 megapixel resolution, they are ideal in tasks at high light intensity such as laser welding and will minimise blur in high-speed applications like pick and place. Having extended the application possibilities of CMOS cameras, Baumer has closed a gap where previously CCD sensors were required. Samples are available now; production starts in the third quarter of 2017.

    Pushing further toward best-in-class in terms of short exposure times, the CX cameras with 29x29mm housing design perform perfectly in hot environments due to their high operating temperature capability of up to 65°C. Additionally, they feature 1000fps with ROI (Region of Interest) and an excellent dynamic range of 71dB. As a result of their high resolution merged with excellent image quality, the GigE and USB 3.0 cameras master virtually any task in various industries which place the highest demands on image details and throughput.

    Further information on our Machine Vision camera series click here.

    To speak with a sales/applications engineer please call 01582 764334 or click here to email

    Lambda Photometrics is a leading UK Distributor of Characterisation, Measurement and Analysis solutions with particular expertise in Electronic/Scientific and Analytical Instrumentation, Laser and Light based products, Optics, Electro-optic Testing, Spectroscopy, Machine Vision, Optical Metrology, Fibre Optics and Microscopy.

  • The BGA244 - a new 0.1% accuracy Gas Analyser for single and binary gas mixtures

    Stanford Research Systems BGA244

    The BGA244 Binary Gas Analyser from Stanford Research Systems quickly, continuously and non-invasively determines the ratio of gases in a binary mixture, or checks the purity of a single gas with better than 0.1% accuracy.

    • <0.1% accuracy
    • 10ppm resolution
    • 4Hz measurement rate
    • USB, RS232, RS422 & software
    • Continuous in-line operation
    • Analogue I/O, Event relays

    The speed of sound in a binary gas mixture depends on temperature, heat capacity, and molar mass of the mixture. By precisely measuring the speed of sound and temperature, and knowing the thermodynamic properties and molar masses of the gases, the SRS BGA244 determines the exact composition of gas mixtures.

    The BGA244 provides a hundred fold improvement in stability, accuracy and resolution over thermal conductivity analysers. It operates without lasers, filaments, chemical sensors, optical sources, separation columns, reference gases, or reagents, and runs virtually maintenance-free. It also lets you choose from 500 gases, enabling you to measure thousands of mixtures.

    The BGA244 does not require zero or span calibration to achieve 0.1% accuracy. This eliminates the need for reference, zero and span gases, plus the valves, labour or software needed to perform them; leading to a lower cost of ownership. This, plus the improved accuracy and wide range of gases, dramatically improves the value proposition for the BGA244 when compared to other analysers.

    The BGA244 is ideal for a host of applications including binary gas blending, PSA (pressure swing adsorption), helium recovery, ozone purity, dopants and carrier gases, industrial gas processes and general research where precise and reliable measurements of gas mixtures are essential.

    Click here for further information.

    To speak with a sales/applications engineer please call 01582 764334 or click here to email

    Lambda Photometrics is a leading UK Distributor of Characterisation, Measurement and Analysis solutions with particular expertise in Electronic/Scientific and Analytical Instrumentation, Laser and Light based products, Optics, Electro-optic Testing, Spectroscopy, Machine Vision, Optical Metrology, Fibre Optics and Microscopy.

  • Applications of Scanning Electron Microscope in Pharmaceutical Research Field

    Pharmaceutical research involves creation of new drugs or continuous improvement of existing drugs. This versatile research topic is a broad field of study dealing with an increasing number of challenges, owing to new pathogens emerging constantly and known pathogens becoming increasingly resistant to existing drugs.

    Since more information is needed, the use of advanced tools, such as scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), has been shown to be very powerful in various applications in the pharmaceutical field. In pharmaceutical research, SEMs are used for powder imaging and analysis, to gain insights into cellular interactions with new drugs, and for applications in the most complicated cancer treatments.

    This article discusses a few examples to illustrate the successful application of SEMs in research facilities across the world to develop novel and more powerful drugs to treat diseases.

    Figure 1. An example of mammalian cells observed with SEM

    Superporous hydrogels

    A research team at AIMST University in Malaysia is involved in the development of a new class of superporous hydrogel beads. Hydrogels consist of a network structure of cross-linked hydrophilic polymers that are capable of absorbing water in large amounts without dissolving.

    These beads are employed as carriers in pharmaceuticals for controlled drug delivery based on their biodegradation and swelling abilities. Since a targeted drug delivery eliminates side effects on other cells or tissues, it helps achieve easier and faster regeneration.

    With developments in research, and the increasing need to develop enhanced and highly performing drugs, the researchers have developed a new class of hydrogels with rapid swelling capacities - the reason for the name “Superporous Hydrogels”. Here, the researchers examined the surface structure and porosity of the dried beads using a SEM.

    Cancer drug research

    A new kind of approach was used in cancer drug research. It was found that aromatase, an enzyme responsible for determining the final sex phenotype of fish, was also playing a key role in the progression of breast cancer. Therefore, in a study, researchers used aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment.

    In fish, androgens are irreversibly converted into estrogens by aromatase enzymes, thereby establishing the embryo’s gender to female. Researchers are showing more interest to study male fish than female fish of this species because male fish generate anti-aromatase in large quantities.

    Like Nile tilapia which gained attention as a source of food worldwide, aromatase obtained from this fish was the subject of interest for researchers looking for aromatase inhibitors.

    Nile tilapia microsomes were used to study the enzyme activity of aromatase inhibitors. They are vesicle-like fractions of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) present in healthy living cells. In this study, hepatic microsomes were prepared from Nile tilapia and their morphology was explored using a SEM.

    The proliferation of cancer cells was investigated using HepG2 human hepatoma cells and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The study results revealed that the growth of both cancer cell lines was efficiently inhibited by a specific anti-aromatase present in microsomes.

    For a successful cancer research, the morphology of tissues needs to be analyzed and understood. At present, this can be achieved using the correlated light and electron microscopy technique.

    Figure 2. Correlated light and electron microscopy image of HeLa cells

    Development of antibacterial powders

    Antibiotics are excessively used and as a result, the numbers of antibiotic resistant bacteria are constantly increasing. Hence, researchers are seeking new ways to find the presence of bacteria on medical devices to prevent nosocomial infections or hospital-acquired infections as much as possible. Extensive research is going on in the development of new antibacterial powders.A study revealed that pathogens present on polymer medical appliances can be very efficiently destroyed when ZnO and Ag-ZnO crystals are added to antibiotics. Here, a SEM was used to analyze the elemental composition and morphology of the crystals before using them for further experiments.

    Figure 3. Pharmaceutical crystals observed with SEM
    Figure 4. Pharmaceutical components including crystals observed with SEM

    Conclusion

    In summary, scanning electron microscopes are a very polyvalent tool that can be used for various research activities in the pharmaceutical field. It helps understand the morphology of the component of interest and highlights the effect of interactions with its environment.

    References

    1. Development and in vitro Evaluation of New Generation Superporous Hydrogel Beads (SPHBs) Containing Fluconazol. Kumar et al. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research; Vol. 5 Issue 12, p259 (2013)
    2. Investigation of anti-aromatase activity using hepatic microsomes of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Pikulkaew et al., Drug Discoveries and Therapeutics (2017)
    3. Antibacterial Powders for Medical Application Prepared by Microwave Hydrothermal Assisted Synthesis. Kunitka et al,. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 6(1A): 88-91 (2016)

     

    About Phenom-World

    Phenom-World is a leading global supplier of desktop scanning electron microscopes and imaging solutions for submicron scale applications. Their SEM-based systems are used in a broad range of markets and applications. They continuously invest, develop and integrate their products to help customers improve their return on investment, time to data, and to increase system functionality.

    Lambda Photometrics are the UK and Ireland distributors for sales, service and applications and have been working with Phenom-World for many years. Click here for more information alternatively please contact our Sales Engineers on 01582 764334 or at [email protected].

  • How SEM helps discover suitable corrosion inhibitors

    Many industries would benefit from the inhibition of corrosion in metals. In the materials science field, scientists are therefore exploring ways to prevent or reduce corrosion. Many studies looking for suitable corrosion inhibitors have been carried out.

    However, most of the inhibitors discovered and developed during those studies were synthetic chemicals, which are very expensive, and hazardous to the environment. Due to the characteristics of these chemicals, studies were carried out to investigate and analyse natural products that could be used as an anti-corrosion agent. SEM technology helped conduct these studies in an effective manner, something we will describe further in this article.

    SEM image of speed steel

    The use of castor oil extract to inhibit corrosion

    In 2017 Omotioma et al. (Int. J. Chem. Sci.: 14(1)) describe the use of castor oil (Ricinus communis) extract to inhibit corrosion of mild steel. Morphological observations of the corroded mild steel samples were carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As a result of this study, castor oil extract was found to inhibit both cathodic and anodic reactions and act as a mixed-type inhibitor.

    Another study from the same research group in 2015 (Der Pharma Chemica, 2015, 7 (11):373-383) investigated the use of leaves extract of bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) as corrosion inhibitor for aluminum. In this case, detailed changes in morphology were also revealed with the use of a SEM, which serves as a helpful tool to understand morphological changes in detail.

     

     

     

     

    SEM image of aluminum

    Corrosion behaviour on stainless steel

    A more detailed study on corrosion behaviour on stainless steel, with a focus on oil refinery distillation systems, was performed by Loto in 2016 (J Mater Res Technol. 2016). During this study, the surface morphology was analysed in more detail with SEM to detect defects or surface changes. The capability to understand surface morphology in combination with elemental detection via EDS allows results to be obtained in a fast and easy manner. The study was successful in proving that S32101 steel has significantly lower corrosion rates than 410 martensitic stainless steel used for applications in oil refinery distillation systems.

    If you would like to learn more about the potential of a SEM system paired with EDS technology, click here.

     

    About the author:Dr. Jasmin Zahn is an Application Engineer at Phenom-World, the world’s leading supplier of desktop scanning electron microscopes. She is highly engaged in finding out more about the possibilities for Phenom-World products in various applications. In addition, Jasmin is active in sharing best practices with the outside world to encourage them to look outside their standard scope of use and to improve in their work.

  • Lambda Photometrics will be exhibiting the very latest Phenom World products at MMC 2017

    On the 03rd of July, MMC 2017 presents...a huge exhibition. Running side-by-side with the conference is Europe's largest microscopy and imaging exhibition that will be home to over one hundred companies, providing outstanding opportunities to see and try cutting-edge equipment.

    Visiting the Microscience Microscopy Congress exhibition for free as a day visitor gives you access to a plethora of opportunities to enhance and advance your knowledge base and skillset. The exhibition is suitable for anyone who uses a microscope in their work or studies and provides valuable insights into products and services that can aid and assist you back in the workplace. Lambda Photometrics will be at Stand 621, exhibiting the very latest Phenom-World products at MMC 2017.

    Phenom-World desktop SEMs are the number one desktop solution, boasting a CeB6 cathode source which can deliver a finely focused electron beam at low acceleration voltages and beam currents. The source has an expected lifetime of 1500+ hours; lasting ~15 times longer than conventional Tungsten filaments. All with a resolution capable of ≤10 nm (Phenom ProX model) with appropriately prepared SEM samples. Alongside the Phenom ProX (EDX) we will be showing the Phenom XL (equipped with a larger stage), which has both the Backscatter Detector (BSE) and (optional) Secondary Electron Detector (SED) fitted.

    To speak with one of our Sales & Applications Engineers please call 01582 764334 or click here to email.

     

    MMC 2015 Exhibition Visitor testimonials:

    "Interesting talks, informative workshops, great opportunity to meet specialists who work both with equipment we already have and want in the future"

    "My primary motivation was to decide how to spend an equipment budget for my institution"
    "I wanted to investigate possible new instrument technologies, and discover some technologies I wasn't aware of before the congress"

    "It is a good place to catch-up the company reps and see what new products/equipment are around"

    "I always look forward to this great event!"

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