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A decade of innovation in nanoscale imaging


'A decade of innovation in nanoscale imaging' describes the successful development of microscope manufacturer Witec, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary

Founded as a spin-off from the University of Ulm, Witec has become an established and global player in high-tech instrumentation.

As a specialist in high-resolution microscopy, the company benefits from the exponential growth of the nanotechnology, materials research and life sciences markets.

Due to a modular product line and the implementation of various patents, Witec has expanded the frontiers of high resolution microscopy, setting new standards in the areas of sensitivity, speed and user-friendliness.

The 28 employees of the privately owned and always profitable company have generated average annual growth rates of of 25% over the last ten years The economically successful business expansion is focused on the global market, leading to the foundation of a US subsidiary in 2002.

"The reasons for the success of our product line were the implementation of new developments and the consequent accomplishment of the modular product philosophy" says Joachim Koenen, managing director.

"The current boom of nanoscale research significantly contributes to our ongoing positive sales growth" says Klaus Weishaupt, managing director, marketing and sales.

Continuous improvements and diversification will strengthen Witec's leading position in the market.

"To secure our leading edge we will work constantly on innovative technologies and will continuously launch new products" says Olaf Hollricher, managing director, research and development.

The starting point for the foundation of the company was the development of a new near-field optical microscope in 1997.

This instrument produces images with an optical resolution below the diffraction limit.

Other types of microscopes soon followed: a confocal Raman microscope allows the chemical identification of the sample's composition, resulting in high resolution images of its chemical properties.

Primary fields of application are chemical and pharmaceutical research and materials science.

For nano-scale surface topography imaging, an atomic force microscope was introduced for use in nanotechnology research.

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