Characterisation, Measurement & Analysis
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Press Releases

Lambda's press releases

  • SXRTO Oscilloscopes Explained

    Pico Technology have launched their latest 5 GHz SXRTO Sampler Extended Real Time Oscilloscope, but what is SXRTO. Learn more about the benefits and cost savings compared to Real Time Oscilloscopes, RTO below.

    The real-time oscilloscope
    Real-time oscilloscopes (RTOs) are designed with a high enough sampling rate to capture a transient, non-repetitive signal with the instrument’s specified analogue bandwidth. According to Nyquist’s sampling theorem, for accurate capture and display of the signal the scope’s sampling rate must be at least twice the signal bandwidth. Typical high-bandwidth RTOs exceed this sampling rate by perhaps a factor of two, achieving up to four samples per cycle, or three samples in a minimum-width impulse.

    Equivalent-time sampling
    For signals close to or above the RTO’s Nyquist limit, many RTOs can switch to a mode called equivalent-time sampling (ETS). In this mode the scope collects as many samples as it can for each of many trigger events, each trigger contributing more and more samples and detail in a reconstructed waveform. Critical to alignment of these samples is a separate and precise measurement of time between each trigger and the next occurring sample clock.
    After a large number of trigger events the scope has enough samples to display the waveform with the desired time resolution. This is called the effective sampling resolution (the inverse of the effective sampling rate), which is many times higher than is possible in real-time (non-ETS) mode.
    As this technique relies on a random relationship between trigger events and the sampling clock, it is more correctly called random equivalent-time sampling (or sometimes random interleaved sampling, RIS). It can only be used for repetitive signals – those that vary little from one trigger event to the next.

    The sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope (SXRTO)
    The PicoScope 9404 SXRTO has a maximum effective sampling rate in ETS of 1 TS/s. This corresponds to a timing resolution of 1ps, 2000 times higher than its actual maximum sampling rate.
    The PicoScope 9404-05 SXRTO has an analogue bandwidth of 5 GHz. This means that it requires a sampling rate of at least 10 GS/s, but for an accurate reconstruction of wave shape, we need far higher than this. The PicoScope 9404 gives us 200 sample points in a single cycle at 5 GHz and 140 points in a minimum-width impulse.

    So is the SXRTO a sampling scope?
    All this talk of sampling rates and sampling modes may suggest that the SXRTO is a type of sampling scope, but this is not the case. The name sampling scope, by convention, refers to a different kind of instrument. A sampling scope uses a programmable delay generator to take samples at regular intervals after each trigger event. The technique is called sequential equivalent-time sampling and is the principle behind the PicoScope 9300 Series sampling scopes. These scopes can achieve very high effective sampling rates but have two main drawbacks: they cannot capture data before the trigger event, and they require a separate trigger signal – either from an external source or from a built-in clock-recovery module.
    We’ve compiled a table to show the differences between the types of scopes mentioned on this page. The example products are all compact, 4-channel, USB PicoScopes.

    *Higher-bandwidth real-time oscilloscopes are available from other manufacturers.
    **These functions are possible at low sampling rates, up to 1 MS/s.

    Click HERE for further information, application support, demo or quotation requests  please contact us on 01582 764334 or click  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 Rigol MSO8000 Series Oscilloscope Offers 2GHz Analogue Bandwidth and 7 Instruments in 1.

    The NEW Rigol Technologies MSO8000 Series of oscilloscopes combine best in class sampling (10 GSa/sec) and memory depth (500MPts) with a modern, flexible User Interface enabled by their new UltraVision II architecture and innovative Phoenix Chipset.

    Three models available from 600 MHz to 2GHz, each with 4 analogue channels, and MSO ready the 8000 Series brings innovative analysis and visualisation capabilities to embedded design, power analysis, serial decode, and RF applications. Analyse your critical signals with zone triggering, 7 instruments in 1, Enhanced FFTs, colour grading, and histograms and now with Real-time eye diagram and jitter analysis. All supported by high sample rate, deep memory, and full memory measurements. The NEW 8000 Series Oscilloscopes provide unprecedented value and innovation.

    For further information, application support, demo or quotation requests  please contact us on 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.

  • Nikon Metrology NV and Pixelink Announce New Strategic Partnership

    Delivering a Selection of High Quality Industrial Microscopy Cameras to Fulfil the Needs of Mid-range Customer Requirements

    Nikon Metrology NV, innovator in measuring and precision instruments, and Pixelink, leader in design and manufacturer of high quality industrial cameras. Today, the two companies announced they are entering into a strategic partnership to accelerate sales of affordable industrial microscopy cameras in Europe. As part of this collaboration, Nikon Metrology NV will distribute Pixelink cameras as stand-alone solutions or integrated with Nikon NIS-Elements Microscope Imaging Software.

    Pixelink industrial microscopy cameras, featuring USB 3.0 connectivity, the latest high-resolution CMOS sensors, and global or rolling shutter technology, offer high quality image acquisition and maximum performance. The M-Series high definition cameras offer rapid refresh rates, crisp live images, fluid navigation, and fast focusing. Available from 4MP to 15MP resolution, the cameras perfectly complement Nikon Metrology NV products and are ideal for use in a wide range of industrial/material science applications.

    Nikon Metrology is very excited about this new partnership with Pixelink,” comments Bill Clement, Business Development Director, Nikon Metrology. “The selected Pixelink M-series camera models will greatly complement our camera offerings by providing each of our customers an optimal industrial microscopy solution to meet their application needs at an affordable price.

    The strategic partnership with Nikon Metrology NV is indeed very exciting. These cameras are fully integrated with Nikon NIS software and can easily be used in conjunction with Nikon’s state-of-the-art vision measuring instruments,” adds Lisanne Glavin, General Manager at Pixelink.

    Camera models now available through Nikon Metrology NV include the M5DC Versatile, M12BC Fast 4K, M4C Measurement and the M15C Documentation. All cameras come in a rugged cylindrical housing bundled with a 2M industrial USB 3.0 cable and Pixelink Capture image acquisition software.

    For further information, application support, demo or quotation requests  please contact us on 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.

  • Phenom Pharos Wins Analytical Scientist Innovation Award!

    The Thermo Scientific™ Phenom Pharos Desktop SEM has been voted second place in the Analytical Scientist Innovation Awards 2018! The microscope – which was introduced in August 2018 – is the flagship of the Phenom Desktop SEM product range.

    The Phenom Pharos is the first desktop SEM solution from us that includes a field emission gun (FEG). It is easy to operate and incorporates an advanced hardware design for fast time-to-image and simple handling. A wide range of academic and industrial researchers now have access to the benefits of FEG in a desktop model, which can increase their throughput and result in high-quality images and resolution.

    In addition to providing advanced detectors that can acquire high-quality images with magnifications up to 1,000,000 times, the Phenom Pharos microscope offers researchers:

    • Access to sharp, high-contrast images with resolutions <3 nanometers
    • An intuitive user interface that enables researchers to get a live image in less than 25 seconds after inserting the sample
    • High-resolution imaging that can be obtained simultaneously with analytical techniques

    Potential impact

    In the past, only highly-experienced scientists have been able to operate and benefit from FEG- equipped scanning electron microscopes (SEM), but Phenom Pharos brings the benefits of FEG to users with different experience levels; it is easy to use, and installation can be done without the need for special room requirements. Installation is fully automated and once initialised, the user interface enables researchers, students and operators alike to analyze images and corresponding details at the nanoscale, from visualising multiwall carbon nanotubes to capturing high-resolution imaging of Ag nanoparticles.

    Learn more about the Phenom Pharos  

    For more information please email or call 01582 764334.

    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.

  • Baumer wins the inspect award 2019 with its CX.I cameras

    The Baumer CX.I cameras with their outstanding performance convinced the expert panel and participants of the online poll on the inspect award 2019 and were awarded 1st prize in the Vision category. The prize that is annually awarded by Wiley-VCH publishers recognises special innovation in the area of industrial image processing. An expert panel selects the best 10 products each in the categories Vision, Automation and Control. From these, more than 45000 readers of the magazines inspect and messtec drives Automation as well as from other online portals were asked to select their favourite in an online voting process.

    The Baumer CX.I cameras gained headway with their overall concept that offers increased performance. For example, thanks to an expanded operating temperature range of -40°C to 70°C, no additional cooling or heating devices are necessary, which allows rapid and cost-effective system integration. 4 power outputs with pulse width modulation and an output power of up to 120W (max. 48V / 2.5A) allow direct lighting control and make additional components unnecessary. With exposure times from 1µs and frame rates of up to 1000 fps, the cameras can be deployed across industries flexibly and in demanding applications. The patented modular tube system allows lenses of different lengths to be protected against dust and dirt rapidly and flexibly using a variable number of extension rings. And when the demands are even greater, specially developed IP 65/67 and IP 69K housing accessories transform the CX.I cameras to IP 65/67 or IP 69K cameras in no time at all for use in hygienic areas of the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

    Why not give us a call now on 01582 764334 if you would like a free trial of the camera or click here to email.

    Further information on our Machine Vision camera series click here.

    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.

     

  • Why SEM is a valuable technique for nanoparticle characterisation

    The continuous increase of microscopic particles’ use in a huge range of applications has created the need of accurate control of their properties. I will explain why the use of precise monitoring and characterisation of particles is required and how scanning electron microscopy can prove to be a valuable characterisation method for you. Especially due to its versatility and superior spatial resolution.

    The term “particle” is quite a general term as it describes any discrete sub-portion of a substance. It can range from the subatomic scale with the study of particles (size of 10-15 m), to the microscopic range with atoms (0.3Å) and molecules (nm-μm), up to the macroscopic scale that can include particles of dust, dirt, skin (mm-cm) or even planets of a galaxy (~ 10−6m in the case of Earth). So, the understanding of a precise definition for “particles” is quite a difficult task. Therefore the common understanding is that particles can vary greatly in terms of size and shape.

    Microscopic particles: why are they so interesting?

    But let’s focus on one of the categories of particles as described above, the microscopic particles. This category of particles is exceptionally interesting since they are used in a huge range of applications, such as ceramics, the food industry, electronics, polymers and plastics, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It has been proven that the size and shape of such particles influence the properties of the materials.

    In principle, most of the materials are size dependent; the physical properties of materials at the nanoscale can differ from the constant physical properties of the same material existing in bulk form. There are several factors for this behaviour. First, as we move to nm dimensions, classical mechanics can no longer describe the processes and should be replaced by quantum mechanics. Moreover, the surface to volume ratio increases greatly, potentially affecting certain properties of the materials (Fig 1).

    Fig 1: Increased surface to volume ratio for materials comprised of particles compared to bulk.

    Nanomaterials with altered properties

    There are many examples of nanomaterials with altered properties compared to their bulk counterparts. For instance, the optical properties of gold are very different in bulk and in nanoscale. We all know that gold is yellow, however this is not true for gold nanoparticles. Their colour can vary from purple to red, depending on their size (Fig 2). Also, ZnO nanoparticles do not scatter visible light in contrast to their bulk counterparts, which are used for sunscreen creams.

    Fig 2: Change in the optical properties of gold as the size of its particles decreases.

    But it is not only the optical properties that alter, the electrical properties can also differ at the nanoscale. Some materials that act as conductors in bulk can become semiconductors and vice versa. So it becomes evident that the size of the particles is an important factor that can affect their properties in many diverse applications.

    For example, it can affect the delivery efficiency in medical applications, the reactivity and the dissolution rate in catalytic processes, their appearance when used as coatings and inks, and the porosity of the products in ceramics. Particles of such size are very appealing for medical applications as drug delivery agents due to their increased surface to volume ratio and their ability to absorb and carry several compounds.

    Besides size, the shape of the particles is also a decisive factor that can affect the properties of the materials and thus the product in which they are used. In a similar manner as size, shape can alter the texture and feel of food ingredients, the flowability and reactivity of agents used in medical or other applications. Furthermore, other particle characteristics, such as convexity and circularity, are important as they can also affect their properties.

    Obtaining images of particles

    Fig 3: Particle metric workspace. On top, the acquired SEM image is processed and the particles are identified. At the bottom, the results of the analysis are shown; size and shape distribution as well as important characteristics of the particles are shown.

    It is obvious that the tunability of these particles is fascinating and has gathered the focus of many research groups around the world due to their great potential in applications and their huge variety. In principle, the properties of materials can be finely tuned by engineering their size and shape. To achieve this, many characterisation techniques have been employed in order to obtain the so-called particle shape and size distribution.

    Obtaining images of particles comes along with challenges as usually a statistical outcome of the measurement would be ideal. For such purposes an automated analysis program such as Particle Metric (Fig 3) can help. It combines high-resolution electron imaging with an automated analysis and classification of particles in your image. This depends not only on their size and shape, but also many other characteristic such as the convexity, circularity, surface and volume of the particles.

     

     

    About the author:
    Antonis Nanakoudis is Application Engineer at Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science. Antonis is extremely motivated by the capabilities of the Phenom desktop SEM on various applications and is constantly looking to explore the opportunities that it offers for innovative characterisation methods..

    For further information, application support, demo or quotation requests  please contact us on 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.

  • SEM trends: what is next? Automated scanning electron microscopy

    Automated scanning electron microscopy (SEM) saves operators valuable time. Both in research and in industry this further development of SEM is in great demand and is a rapidly growing field. Thermo Fisher Scientific™ already offers innovative Phenom desktop SEM products and applications for automated imaging as well as analysis.

    In industry, automation is anything but a new phenomenon. Using automated systems enables companies to produce large quantities of products with simultaneous precise and rapid quality control. Although SEM technology is used in the manufacturing industry for microscopic analysis (for example for quality and failure control), automated SEM systems with a high and fast sample throughput are rarely available on the market. One of the main reasons for this is that SEM is technically very sophisticated. In addition, SEM has traditionally been primarily a technology for scientists and research purposes. For them, a high sample throughput is not as important as for manufacturers, for whom several hours or even minutes can have a big impact on the eventual profit.

    Advantages of automated SEM systems

    As mentioned above, the most obvious advantage of automated SEM systems is a much higher sample throughput. Automated SEMs are able to deliver a statistically-relevant characterisation of different samples within a shorter time frame. Moreover, only automated systems can literally find the ‘needle in the haystack’. This becomes relevant if the operator’s task is to find a specific feature on a sample within a large number of other features. In this case, automatic imaging and analysis offers a great advantage over human operators.

    Another advantage of using an automated system is that it eliminates human bias. Individual users direct their attention to problems in very different ways. Therefore, having different users examine the same problem makes comparing results difficult. Only automated systems can guarantee consistent results.

    As a consequence, virtually all SEM operators benefit from a faster, automated SEM imaging process and a subsequent automated image analysis. The good news is: new developments and advances in SEM are delivering automated solutions – and one can say with confidence that the future of SEM lies in automated systems.

    Thermo Scientific Phenom desktop SEM automated products

    As a company that is dedicated to delivering innovative and forward-thinking SEM solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific has already started to offer automated approaches and applications. The Thermo Scientific Phenom XL is a desktop SEM that enables automated analysis of samples, while at the same time providing the fastest ventilation and evacuation cycle of any SEM available on the market. The entire process of venting the chamber, placing the sample and establishing the vacuum environment only takes approximately one minute. Moreover, the innovative sample holder can accommodate up to 36 small specimens on stubs or one single large object with a maximum size of 100 square centimetres. Thus, operators are able to quickly examine many samples or different spots within one large object.

    In order to analyse the imaging data, different automation scripts are provided. Users can apply these algorithms to automatically acquire, analyse and evaluate images. This can speed up the examination process enormously.

    In industry, these compact and semi-automated systems can, for instance, be positioned next to the production line and provide quality control and failure analysis in real-time. Such set-ups mark the first step towards a fully automated SEM analysis that complements round-the-clock production.

    Automated risk assessment: AsbestoMetric

    Another specific automated application that has been developed is the Thermo Scientific Phenom AsbestoMetric Software for the detection of asbestos fibres. Since asbestos is a hazardous material, standards exist that describe the procedures that must be followed for a correct assessment of risks. These instructions include the analysis of collected material with a SEM in order to detect the potential presence of microscopic asbestos fibres.

    In general, this is a complex and time-consuming process because, according to the guidelines, more than 100 images must be inspected. And in general, only highly experienced SEM operators are able to detect the fibres as they are tiny and produce barely any contrast. However, Thermo Fisher Scientific succeeded in shortening this process significantly by automating the repetitive tasks in their Phenom desktop SEMs. With this system, the operator only has to verify the outcome and certify the accuracy of the results instead of spending hours searching for very small fibres. Since the SEM required for this task is quite compact, it can also be used as a mobile set-up in a vehicle. Several construction companies are already doing so and by using AsbestoMetric, they can immediately determine if there is asbestos on site and assess the risk. For more information, have a look at our blog.

    These examples clearly show automated processes are already supporting SEM users today. In future, automation will be part of every state-of-the-art SEM. With the automated solutions that is has available, Phenom desktop SEMs are already one step ahead. And the developers of the company are working hard to keep it that way in the future.

    CLICK HERE  to download the Phenom AsbestoMetric Software datasheet.

     

    About the author:
    Willem van Zyl is Application Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science. He is excited by analytical instruments that are accessible and user-friendly, and truly believes that a SEM image is worth a kazillion words.

    For further information, application support, demo or quotation requests  please contact us on 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.

  • Sofradir Electrophysics7215 “Electroviewer” Handheld IR Viewer to be Discontinued

    Sadly, after many decades of production Sofradir Electrophysics will be discontinuing the 7215 Electroviewer IR handheld viewer. Production of the intensifier tubes used in this design is being halted due to lack of global demand, and there is no alternative replacement. The 7215 has been a hugely popular product, especially in laser labs, and we thank all our customers for their purchases over the years.

    LAST-CHANCE BUY

    Units are still available until current stocks are exhausted, and we encourage you to contact us and arrange a last-chance buy to fulfil your short/medium term requirements. We expect availability until the end of Q1 2019. Each unit is supplied with a standard 1 year warranty and enough tubes have been stocked to cover all sales and service obligations.

    We do have high performance InGaAs SWIR cameras covering similar wavebands from UTC/Sensors Unlimited - click here. We would be happy to discuss these with you.

    For more information or to arrange a last-time-buy, please email or call 01582 764334.

    Regards
    Lambda Photometrics Ltd

     

    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.

  • Dynamic Capability comes to (nearly) all new Zygo Verifire Interferometers

    DynaPhase® Dynamic Acquisition for Extreme Environments
    Confidence in metrology, no matter the conditions

    Fizeau Interferometry has become a trusted standard for precise metrology of optical components and systems. Traditionally, these instruments were required to be installed in lab environments, where conditions were carefully controlled, to ensure high precision measurements were not compromised. However, today a growing number of applications demand easy, cost-effective solutions for the use of interferometry in environments where metrology has been difficult or impossible in the past.

    Challenge
    Often, optical systems must be tested in locations that simulate their end-use environment. These environments can present challenges due to factors like large vibration and air turbulence, which can negatively affect or prevent the ability to acquire reliable optical measurements. Many of these challenges are addressed with less than optimal solutions, often suffering from drawbacks and issues related to usability, speed, reliability and precision.

    Solution
    ZYGO's patented DynaPhase® data acquisition technology offers many differentiated benefits, without the limitations associated with alternative methods. Key attributes of DynaPhase include:

    • Highest vibration tolerance in a Fizeau interferometer, enabled by the ZYGO-manufactured high-power laser* and fast acquisition speeds
    • Patented in-situ calibration enables the highest precision, lowest measurement uncertainty measurements, and excellent correlation to temporal phase shifting interferometry (PSI)
    • Simple setup and calibration compared to alternative approaches
    • Cost-effective solution; available on nearly all ZYGO laser interferometers

    Comparison of Measurement Techniques Using an Identical Measurement Cavity


    DynaPhase offers the versatility and performance to address a wide range of challenging optical testing environments and applications, including:

    • Cryogenic and vacuum chamber testing
    • Telescope components and complex optical systems
    • Large tower, workstations and complex or unstable test stands

    Features
    DynaPhase is available on nearly all ZYGO laser interferometers. Features vary by model and enable users the flexibility to use capabilities that enhance efficiency in Production Mode, enable fast system alignment with LivePhase, or reveal temporal changes in data with Movie Mode.


    Summary
    Get the most from your metrology investment with the unique capabilities and unmatched versatility of DynaPhase, now available on the entire interferometer line from ZYGO.
    Complete range of vibration tolerant metrology - check out ZYGO's patented QPSI vibration tolerant temporal phase shifting data acquisition enables metrology in the presence of common shop floor vibrations without the need for calibration.

    DynaPhase is inherent in the DynaFiz interferometer - and available as an optional extra software module on the new Verifire (1200 x 1200 pixel camera), Verifire HD and HDx systems. This means you can have DynaPhase capability on the entry level Verifire interferometer, which is pretty well specified to start with as it includes QPSI technology also.

    Click here to read further information on QPSI™ Technology Shrugs Off Vibration from Common Sources.

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

  • New Baumer LX Cameras now with integrated JPEG compression

    We are pleased to announce that we are now delivering an on-board image compression video camera, which is able to transmit high-quality images and reduce the data output in real-time.

    Baumer is supplementing the hugely popular LX series with 2, 4 and 25 megapixel cameras with integrated JPEG image compression and frame rates of up to 140 fps. With the GigE cameras, your savings are continual: from bandwidth through CPU load to storage space – this simplifies the system structure design and reduces integration costs.

    Why not give us a call now on 01582 764334 if you would like a free trial of the camera or click here to email.

    Further information on our Machine Vision camera series click here.

    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.

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