Product Announcement – Herzan Electron Microscope Acoustic Enclosure

Spectra Research Corporation (SRC) is committed to bringing our clients the newest in technological innovation and providing the best service possible. We are thus excited to announce the release in Canada of the new Herzan EM Acoustic Enclosures.

Herzan designs industry-leading environmental solutions to isolate acoustic, vibration, and EMI noise under any ambient lab conditions. Herzan’s new EM Acoustic Enclosure provides the most acoustically sound environment possible, ensuring a quiet and stable work environment. This product is easy to operate and simple to maintain.

Every EM Acoustic Enclosure can be tailored to meet the customer’s operating environment, specific requirements, and research needs. This unit can be upgraded to include active or passive vibration isolation, temperature stability, EMI shielding, and custom cable clamps.

EM Acoustic Enclosure Features

  • Modular/paneled design for maximum performance and utility
  • Multiple layers of sound dampening material
  • Multiple cable access ports
  • Three double access doors
  • Removable caster jacks for high-portability and accessibility

Serving the high-precision research market since 1992, Laguna Hills, California-based Herzan is committed to providing customers with environmental solutions that meet their specific needs while providing unparalleled levels of service and support.


For more information:
Paul Greenwood
President – Spectra Research Corporation
5805 Kennedy Road, Mississauga, ON L4Z 2G3 (

Tel: 905-502-2012 | Fax: 905-890-1959 | Toll Free Fax: 888-890-1959
Email: | website:

Product Announcement – Heidelberg Instruments’ MLA 100 Maskless Aligner

Spectra Research Corporation (SRC) is committed to bringing our clients the newest in technological innovation and providing the best service possible. We are thus excited to announce the release in Canada of the new Heidelberg MLA 100 Maskless Aligner – the next generation of direct writing.

Heidelberg, Germany-based Heidelberg Instruments has 30 years of experience developing and manufacturing complex laser-based maskless lithography systems. The new Heidelberg MLA 100 Maskless Aligner is top-of-the-line, offering all capabilities required for single-layer and multi-layer applications.

With easy operation, the MLA 100 Maskless Aligner features an intuitive user interface, a simple loading procedure, and advanced, reliable technology. Unlike other pattern generators on the market, the MLA100 has extreme exposure speed. In less than 10 minutes, an area 100×100 mm² with structures as small as 1 micron can be exposed. Alignment in multi-layer applications can also be achieved quickly as the product’s three integrated cameras with varying resolutions enable alignment to be obtained within 2 minutes.

MLA 100 Maskless Aligner Features

  • Substrates up to 9”x 9”
  • Alignment accuracy down to 1 µm
  • Exposure area of 150×150 mm²
  • Alignment accuracy of 500nm
  • Backside alignment
  • Non-contact exposure

Serving customers worldwide, Heidelberg strives to reduce the cost of product ownership and supports customers to maximize uptime.


For more information:
Paul Greenwood
President – Spectra Research Corporation
5805 Kennedy Road, Mississauga, ON L4Z 2G3

Tel: 905-502-2012 | Fax: 905-890-1959 | Toll Free Fax: 888-890-1959
Email: | website:

One Key Feature of m-VROC

RheoSense Expands Capabilities of m-VROC Viscometer

RheoSense engineers work hard on improving and expanding the capabilities of m-VROC, RheoSense’s flagship viscometer, to further serve the biopharmaceutical & polymer fields. m-VROC is now able to perform a measurement that has been elusive with other viscometers.

Existing viscometers on the market capable of measuring intrinsic viscosity have two major drawbacks: large sample volume requirement and long measuring time. With our unique MEMS technology, VROC, m-VROC measures intrinsic viscosity using the smallest sample size in the shortest amount of time.

For more details, check out the press release!

Please contact us and speak to one of our sales representatives to request a quote or for more information on any of our products.

Announcing Asylum Research’s New Video Tutorials

Asylum Research is very excited to announce their new video tutorials “Tips, Tricks and Techniques”for Asylum Research AFMs. These informative tutorials are ideal for fine tuning your AFM skills and getting you up to speed on new imaging techniques. The video tutorials are easily accessible in the “Support and Downloads” section of the Asylum Research Forum. Click on the links below to view two sample tutorials:

•  AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode

•  Conductive AFM (ORCA™):  Imaging and IV Curves

Step-by-step instructions get you up to speed faster

•  Asylum applications scientists who run our instruments everyday will take you step-by-step through specific scanning techniques.

•  Many of the tutorials will have background theory on a specific application to help you easily understand complicated topics.

•  These video tutorials will cover a wide range of applications. The goal is to fill that pipeline with new videos being released throughout the year. Update your account settings on the Asylum Research Forum to be notified of new video releases.

Sign up for the Asylum Research Forum 

Asylum videos are currently only available through the Asylum Research Forum. If you are not a member, click here to register. We encourage all users to become members to this very valuable resource where you can get the latest news, download the latest software, and view the video tutorials.


Sol-gel is the abbreviation of solution-gelation. Sol-gel synthesis is used in materials science to produce solids (metal oxides) from small molecules (typically metal alkoxides) and is similar to a polymerization reaction. A macromolecular network of oxides is fabricated during the hydrolysis and condensation of molecular precursors. It involves the conversion of the precursors into a colloidal solution that is converted into a gel of either discrete particles or network polymers.

Then the remaining liquid phase (water and solvent) is dried and a thermal treatment is often necessary to improve the characteristics of the final material. Dopants like organic dyes or rare earth elements can be added to the precursor in the solution and thus be dispersed in the material. The sol-gel process is considered as a cheap and low-temperature alternative to other synthesis techniques involving materials melting.

The final materials can be applied to optics, electronics, energy, gas sensors, biomaterials…

Figure 1 – Schematic representation of the different stages and routes of the sol-gel technology (from Wikipedia)


Thermogravimetry coupled to Differential Thermal analysis or Differential Scanning Calorimetry is a long time proven method to study thermal processes. It is mostly applied in the field of sol-gel synthesis to determine the temperature ranges of interest during the drying and thermal treatment phases.

A typical TGA thermogram corresponding to the heating of a gel under controlled rate exhibits a multiple steps mass loss corresponding to the evaporation of water and organic solvents. The DTA or DSC signal will exhibit endotherms due to evaporation or exotherms when the evaporating solvents decompose or oxidize. At higher temperature an exotherm not linked to any mass change is observed, corresponding to the crystallization of the synthesized amorphous material. Depending on the desired final product, this crystallization temperature may be a limit to overcome or not.

The Choice for Your Most Demanding Rheological Challenges


Quality Control

A robust and reliable rheometer for standard applications.

Advanced Research

Open rheometer platform for the highest flexibility.

Configure the Thermo Scientific™ HAAKE™ MARS™ rheometer platform using different models and a broad range of accessories to adapt to your individual needs. Make rheology work for you, whether you are a beginner or an expert with:

Application-oriented packages for dedicated markets such as for polymers or petrochemicals
Fully automated measuring and evaluation procedures including customer guidance and qualifying criteria for standardized jobs in QC
Open rheometer platform with highest level of modularity for individual setups in R&D
Combined techniques to investigate rheological properties on a molecular level, e.g. using FT/IR
Click for more information

The MFP-3D Infinity™ AFM

April 16, 2014 – Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D Infinity™ AFM
Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance 
April 16, 2014 (Santa Barbara, CA)  Oxford Instruments Asylum Research announces the new
MFP-3D Infinity Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The MFP-3D Infinity is the new flagship of the Asylum Research MFP-3D™ AFM family with dramatic performance improvements, new nanomechanical measurement capabilities, and new features that make it simple to get started with tapping mode imaging. Whether you are doing routine imaging tasks or ambitious research projects, the MFP-3D Infinity is ideal for an endless variety of applications with unlimited potential for
your research.
“The MFP-3D Infinity has evolved extensively from the original MFP-3D that pioneered closed loop scanning and low noise AFM measurements,” commented Dan Bocek, Project Manager. “The development team used their superior knowledge of AFM physics and technology to accomplish truly remarkable performance improvements. We reduced the XY sensor noise by 70% and slashed the Z sensor noise by more than 85%. Overall system height noise is now only 20pm, a third of what it was on the original MFP-3D. The practical benefit is that our customers can now achieve higher resolution while still enjoying the unmatched versatility of the MFP-3D family. No other AFM beats this combination of performance and flexibility.”
Jason Bemis, Manager, High-level Software, added, “We’ve also introduced new software features that showcase the potential of this new hardware and enhance the capability and greatly improve the ease of use of the new Infinity AFM. Our new Fast Force Curve Mapping mode enables the high speed capture and analysis of force-distance curves. We’ve also developed a new feature called GetStarted™ that does exactly what it says. It helps users get high quality tapping mode images from the very start.”
The MFP-3D Infinity features a large 90µm stage and entirely new control electronics that are located close to the AFM for fast, low noise performance. Flexible signal switching and programmable logic enable future expansion options. The new head and scanner offer greatly improved sensor noise (<35pm in Z and <150pm in X&Y) and higher bandwidth for improved force control and faster imaging. Top and bottom view optics provide a large field of view and diffraction-limited resolution for pinpointing features on your sample.
GetStarted greatly increases AFM productivity. It is an intuitive new feature that automatically sets tapping mode imaging parameters such as setpoint, gain, and scan rate based on your sample roughness and cantilever calibration. Unlike iterative optimization schemes, GetStarted uses a robust predictive algorithm so that accurate data is produced from the very first scan line without the potential of tip and sample damage that is common with other optimization routines that assist with scanning.
The new Fast Force Mapping mode brings Asylum’s market leadership and expertise in force spectroscopy to fast force-distance curves measurements. Operating at up to 300Hz pixel rate, it captures every force curve in the image without missing curves or performing hidden data manipulation. Realtime and offline analysis models calculate modulus, adhesion and other properties, and are user-accessible. Part of the NanomechPro™ Toolkit, Fast Force Mapping is a technique complementary to AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping mode and Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode.
The MFP-3D Infinity remains compatible with the full range of MFP-3D accessories. No other AFM in the world supports such a wide range of innovative accessories, both practical and unique, for temperature and environmental control, controlled gas or liquid environments and for experiments using external driving forces – ideal for busy multi-user facilities.
Additional information on the MFP-3D Infinity and its entire range of new capabilities, scan techniques, and accessories can be found at To receive a quotation, email us at
Image caption:  Fast Force Mapping image of a polystyrene-polycaprolactone blend.  Elastic modulus is shown on 3D topography, 4µm scan.
About Oxford Instruments Asylum Research
Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience research. Asylum Research AFMs are used for a wide variety of nanoscience applications in material science, physics, polymers, chemistry, tribology, biomaterials, and bioscience, including emerging applications in energy storage and generation, low-dimensional materials,
and biophysics.
Asylum’s MFP-3D™ family of AFMs includes four different models that span a wide range of performance, applications, and budgets. The new MFP-3D Infinity is the flagship of the family, offering the highest performance, simplest operation, and widest range of capabilities. The MFP-3D Classic, the original MFP-3D offered for mid-range budgets, provides high performance and versatility that exceeds most AFMs. The MFP-3D Origin is the most affordable model, offering the same performance as the MFP-3D Classic with many accessories and an easy upgrade path to advanced capabilities. Finally, the MFP-3D-BIO integrates with an inverted light microscope to support biological and photonic applications.
Cypher™ is the highest resolution fast scanning AFM and is available in two configurations, the Cypher S and the Cypher ES Environmental AFM. They provide low-drift closed loop imaging for the most accurate images and measurements possible today, >20X faster imaging with small cantilevers, exceptional ease of use, and integrated thermal, acoustic and vibration control – all in a small footprint. Cypher AFMs routinely achieve higher resolution than other AFMs, as demonstrated by single point atomic defects in crystal lattices and imaging of the DNA double helix. The Cypher ES adds gas and liquid environmental control, temperature control, and enhanced chemical compatibility to the extraordinary performance of the Cypher S.
In addition to the best AFMs, Asylum Research also offers unmatched customer support that is free for the lifetime of the AFM and industry-leading warranties for the lowest cost of ownership of any AFM. Asylum has sales, applications and service staff in offices in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, France, China and Taiwan and global distribution.
About Oxford Instruments plc
Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments’ growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.
The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company with over 2300 staff worldwide and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors with a focus on nanotechnology. Its key market sectors include nano-fabrication and nano-materials. The company’s strategy is to expand the business into the life sciences arena, where nanotechnology and biotechnology intersect.
This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature, high magnetic field and ultra high vacuum environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; x-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; advanced growth, deposition and etching.
Oxford Instruments aims to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of our world through science and technology. Its products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health.
For further information please contact:
Terry Mehr, Manager, Marketing Communications

MC Matters – Material Characterization

New Applications for the HAAKE RheoScope Module

mcmatters-03-HAAKE-1 mcmatters-03-HAAKE-2

Need to investigate the effects of high-shear rates on your materials? Many inks and paints undergo structural changes during high speed coating processes that can be studied using rheometry. By using a stroboscopic light source (optional) with a rheometer, the shear rate range is extended by a factor of 20, improving the quality of the microscopic images at lower shear rates.

Learn more about the use of the stroboscopic light source here.

You want to use optical filters in the Thermo Scientific™ HAAKE™ RheoScope™ optical path? The new optional filter holder enables the use of any standard 12.5 mm metric thread filter for your special application.

Configure Your HAAKE Rheonaut Setup

The patented Thermo Scientific™ Rheonaut™ module, designed for the Thermo Scientific™ HAAKE™ MARS™ Rheonaut platform, helps you understand rheological properties on a microscopic level by measuring IR spectra and rheological data simultaneously. To set up your Rheonaut configuration, choose between a:

  • Peltier and an electrical temperature control unit
  • DTGS detector for standard measurements or a more sensitive MCT detector for higher spectra acquisition rates

In addition, a polarizer and a special UV curing tool are available.

Click here to view the full MC Matters Newsletter

SETSYS Evolution TG-DTA & TG-DSC under aggressive and corrosive atmospheres


Working under corrosive atmospheres in a STA (TGA with DTA or DSC rod) with corrosive atmospheres is extremely challenging because the detectors are made from metallic parts. The different experiments where there is a risk of deterioration or corrosion is as followed:

  emission of aggressive vapours coming from the sample decomposition

  investigation in an oxidative or reducing gas

  investigation in corrosive gas


In the TG-DTA and TG-DSC modes, the detectors suspended to the balance are made of different metals according to the temperature range (platinel, platinum rhodium, tungsten rhenium …). The crucibles used with the different detectors are made in aluminium, platinum, tungsten, graphite (figure 1). Special crucibles in zirconia, boron nitride can also be adapted.

The materials compatibility for the TG-DTA and TG-DSC rods is very similar to the description done in Technical Note 679.  In the case of emission of agressive gas from the sample decomposition, each material has different limitations :

PLATINIUM, as a metal, is very sensitive to different types of gases and vapours.

  Metallic vapour

It is recommended to consider the corresponding phase diagram of Pt with the metal from the emitted vapour and check if there is a risk of eutectic formation. In case of low emission of vapour, one way to prevent direct contact between the crucible and the metallic vapour, is to have the sample embedded in alumina powder.
Another trick: with SiO2 work under air or oxygen to prevent the dissociation of the silicon oxide


Platinum is also very sensitive to hydrogen above 1000°C

  Other gases

Platinum is also stable in CO2. But it will react with CO, SO2, H2S, chlorine. In general, platinum is not recommended to be used in reducing atmospheres.

ALUMINA, as a ceramic oxide, is highly suited for applications at high temperature (up to 1750°C) under inert and oxidising but has some limitations in reducing atmospheres.

  Metallic vapour

It is recommended to consider the corresponding phase diagram of Pt with the metal from the emitted vapour and check if there is a risk of eutectic formation. In case of low emission of vapour, one way to prevent direct contact between the crucible and the metallic vapour, is to have the sample embedded in alumina powder.
Another trick: with SiO2 work under air or oxygen to prevent the dissociation of the silicon oxide.

At high temperature, a reduction of traces of oxides (especially SiO2) in alumina can be observed.

  Carboneous atmospheres (CO, CH4)
It is reported that the reduction of alumina with CH4 may occur from 1500°C

GRAPHITE is a very convenient material for DTA crucibles for applications at very high temperature (up to 2400°C) but only under inert atmosphere.

BORON NITRIDE is recommended for the investigation of molten metals when alumina cannot apply.

TUNGSTEN is also dedicated to applications at very high temperature (up to 2400°C) under inert atmosphere. It is used to build the DTA detector (combined with Rhenium) and the corresponding crucibles. Oxidative atmospheres have to be forbidden.

Tungsten is used in hydrogen atmosphere when platinum can not be used (above 1000°C).


Compared to the TG mode, the solutions to work under corrosive conditions with the TG-DTA and TG-DSCmodes are more limited. However here are some proposals to solve some problems in the TG-DTA.

Protected DTA rod (upper limit: 1750°C)

Making Raman spectroscopy made ‘quick and easy’

If you do Raman spectroscopy, you typically do it on a large and somewhat complex instrument. These systems provide high resolution results with full spectral coverage. But the high-end data comes with a high-end price tag for the research lab or organization, making Raman spectrometers less accessible to those with limited budgets or in teaching laboratories.

Bench-top Raman spectrometers offer an inexpensive alternative. They’re small, compact, ruggedized and portable while still delivering high sensitivity and repeatability. Most include auto-alignment so there’s no need to fiddle with lasers and optics. In other words, they’re a ‘quick and easy’ way to get quality measurements at a fraction of the price of higher-end systems.

These bench-top Raman instruments provide quality data at the push of a button. They can be configured with a variety of laser wavelengths, and are ideal for teaching the basics of Raman spectroscopy.

Outside of the classroom, they’re also useful when rapid quality measurements are a must, and complex instrumentation is not required. Bench-top Raman can be an affordable quality control tool for industries including food, pharmaceuticals and pulp & paper.

Please contact us and speak to one of our sales representatives to request a quote or more information on any of our products.

SRC is pleased to represent Brookhaven Instruments.

Brookhaven Instruments offers particle size analyzers utilizing dynamic light scattering (DLS) or disc-centrifugation, zeta potential analyzers utilizing phase analysis (PALS) and molecular weight detectors for GPC/SEC.


These instruments can be used to optimize the formulation of suspensions and emulsions, and to characterize nanoparticles.


Call us at 905-890-0555 to request a personal demonstration to see how these particle size analyzers can benefit you.


Intrinsic Viscosity measurement is now easier than ever with m-VROC!

Intrinsic viscosity is correlated with the size of the molecule in a solution. Figuring out the molecule’s intrinsic viscosity provides insights to molecular weight, structure, and its interaction with other molecules and neighboring solvents. This method has been used for numerous applications such as:

•  Polymerization
•  Hydrodynamic radius
•  Degradation and stability of polymers
•  Denaturation or aggregation of proteins
•  Hydration and tertiary/quaternary structure of proteins
•  Sensitive detection of low molecular weight polymers

m-VROC offers fast and reliable intrinsic viscosity measurement for small sample volume. Operators will obtain results within 15 minutes for a single point measurement in addition to its true dynamic viscosity measurement capability.


    Glass capillary      
 True dynamic viscosity  Yes No
 Sample volume, ml  1  10
 Cleaning between samples  Not Necessary  Necessary
 Average operation time per sample, min  5  10

(Results may vary depending on operator’s skill)


Please contact us and speak to one of our sales representatives to request a quote or more information on any of our products.