The cutting edge of Raman-based microparticle characterization gets even sharper
February 1, 2021
WITec GmbH, the pace-setting leader in Raman microscope technology, has enhanced its ParticleScout automated particle analysis tool to offer even greater speed and versatility for finding, classifying and identifying microparticles.
ParticleScout now includes integration time optimization that uses the signal to noise ratio to determine how long each particle is measured for identification. This not only greatly reduces overall measurement time, but also minimizes the effects of fluorescence.
“The first release of ParticleScout was a response to the general demand for a microparticle analysis system built around Raman spectroscopy,” says Harald Fischer, Marketing Director at WITec. “This version is driven by direct feedback from researchers and their specific requirements in laboratories focused on environmental research, food science, pharmaceutics and many other applications.”
The enhanced ParticleScout has added image processing features such as vignetting correction, smart zoom that displays particle information dynamically depending on viewed area, and multiple sample area targeting. These conveniences are complemented by the integration and possible combination of dark-field, bright-field, epifluorescence and transmission sample illumination.
A software routine has been introduced to accelerate measurements of round samples such as filters that contain homogeneously distributed particles. It allows a wedge section to be selected for analysis and the results can then be extrapolated to represent the whole. Another innovation is the smart separation of closely adjacent or touching particles. This is especially useful for densely packed, heterogeneous samples.
Data post-processing with WITec’s TrueMatch™ Raman database management software is updated as well, including the ability to identify individual components in mixed spectra. Hit quality index (HQI) calculation is also optimized with automatic noise reduction and substrate spectra removal. Together these advances enable a new degree of precision in sample characterization.
Finally, the quantitative report that summarizes the results of a ParticleScout investigation can now be formatted with pre-configured templates such as tables, bar graph histograms or pie charts for clear and effective data presentation.
For more on the very latest in automated particle analysis technology, please visit our product page:
- Press Release - Enhanced ParticleScout - English (DOCX) (396 KB)
- Press Release - Enhanced ParticleScout - English (PDF) (229 KB)
- Image - Product Picture - Enhanced ParticleScout (JPEG) (812 KB)
- Graphic - Integration Time Optimization - Enhanced ParticleScout (JPEG) (170 KB)
- Pressemitteilung - Neue ParticleScout Funktionen - Deutsch (PDF) (490 KB)
- Pressemitteilung - Neue ParticleScout Funktionen - Deutsch (DOCX) (223 KB)
WITec’s alpha300 apyron fully automated Raman microscope has been recognized by the SelectScience Scientists’ Choice Awards with a nomination in the category of “Best New Spectroscopy Product of 2020”. We’re very grateful to be in the running for this award, and sincerely appreciate the support that our customers have expressed for our most advanced microscope ever.
The Scientists’ Choice Awards are an industry-wide competition held every year to highlight the new laboratory products that have been most useful to scientists in their work. The researchers themselves directly nominate, review, and vote for the winners.
The alpha300 apyron brings a new level of automation to correlative Raman imaging microscopy by featuring self-optimization and remote operation capabilities. Its software-driven motorized components accelerate experimental setup while reducing user workload and researchers working from home or using environmental enclosures such as glove boxes can acquire data with the click of a mouse.
Vote here for the alpha300 apyron and you could win a $500/£400/450€ Amazon Gift Card:
This year, instead of sending Christmas presents to its customers, WITec GmbH is donating 5,000 Euros to the Albert Einstein Discovery Center Association. "As a manufacturer of microscopy systems from Ulm, and through our close connection to physics, it is especially important to us to help make the Albert Einstein Discovery Center a reality," emphasized Dr. Olaf Hollricher, co-founder and head of research and development at WITec. The donation was presented at WITec headquarters in Ulm’s Science Park by Dr. Hollricher and Dr. Joachim Koenen to Dr. Nancy Hecker-Denschlag, Chairwoman of the Albert Einstein Discovery Center Association. Dr. Hollricher added, "I think it’s a good and important effort to create a place that honors this monumental physicist and provides an opportunity to experience his work in the place of his birth."
The Science City of Ulm should live up to its name. Until now, there hasn’t been a scientific museum that illustrates the revolutionary ideas of Albert Einstein, the world's most famous and renowned son of the city of Ulm. The future experience and discovery center will both tell the story of Albert Einstein's life and present his theories and research results. "We need to take advantage of the momentum that now exists and move forward to build this museum soon," explains Dr. Olaf Hollricher. Dr. Nancy Hecker-Denschlag, Chairwoman of the Albert Einstein Discovery Center Association, expressed her happiness with the response, "It's great that so many successful companies from Ulm are participating in the project. So we're all pulling in the same direction, because we're not just doing something for Ulm, we want to create a center of global interest." Those who wish to join the association can already benefit from the lectures and roundtable discussions it hosts and will also soon be able to take part in excursions that cater to the scientific interests of its members.
Albert Einstein Discovery Center home page:
- Press Release - WITec Einstein Discovery Center Donation (DOCX) (527 KB)
- Press Release - WITec Einstein Discovery Center Donation (PDF) (162 KB)
- Image - WITec Einstein Discovery Center Donation (JPEG) (1.8 MB)
WITec in Japan and the Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan, cooperate to analyze microplastics (< 20 µm)
WITec GmbH, the German manufacturer of high-performance Raman, AFM, SNOM, and correlative nano-analytical microscopy systems, announces a new cooperation in Japan for particle analysis.
Dr. Yutaka Kameda, Associate Professor at the Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT) in Japan, and his team have been working very successfully for several years on the analysis of microplastics in the environment. One example is the development of a unique interactive mapping system for microplastics that uses sea water collected from all over the world by tankers from Nippon Yusen Kaisha with a standardized sampling method that ensures reproducible results. These projects focus on particles with a size of 20 µm or larger. However, it is expected that much smaller microplastics, down to a size of 1 µm, are most problematic for all organisms.
WITec has developed the technology necessary for the highly efficient and precise analysis of these tiny particles. It enables the automated classification, chemical identification, and quantification of particles over a large sample area. WITec will carry out the sample measurements conducted under this new cooperation using these capabilities.
During the kick-off meeting, Dr. Kameda said, “We have several ongoing and future projects that look at microplastics in the environment, such as monitoring sea water samples from all over the world as well as analyzing tap water, wastewater, etc. in Japan. With these projects, we focus on particles with a size of greater than 20 micrometers. Having a reliable analytical method available for even smaller microplastics would be a big step forward. In addition, we want to establish a method of monitoring microplastics in the atmosphere. With the air that we breathe every day a substantial amount of microplastics gets into our body. It is expected that especially the smaller particles are very harmful to health. The cooperation with WITec opens up an opportunity to establish an analytical method that can identify and quantify these tiny particles in air.”
Michael Verst, director at WITec in Japan, said, “It is a great honor for us to cooperate with CIT. Dr. Kameda and his team are well known for their excellent research in environmental chemistry. Their projects that investigate microplastics are especially esteemed. We are convinced that combining WITec’s high-performance technology with the knowledge and experience of Dr. Kameda and his team, will reveal new insights about the state of our environment. A precise and efficient analytical method will hopefully lead to better ecological monitoring and the improvement of our living conditions and health.”
Plastic is everywhere, in our food, air, rivers and oceans. There are indications that very small particles are exceptionally hazardous. We hope that our cooperation will make an important contribution to better understanding this topic.
To keep pace with the rapid growth of the Chinese market for scientific instruments, WITec’s representative office in Beijing has moved to a larger space, now in the Air China Plaza Tower.
Our new location features a dedicated equipment demonstration laboratory where visitors can experience our latest technologies in person, and see the advantages they provide in action. Our Beijing team is also ready to receive visitors and offer consultations regarding the best instrument configuration for researchers’ individual requirements.
If you have any questions about our microscopes, or if you’re interested in having our applications scientists in China perform measurements on one of your samples, please contact us at the address below:
WITec Beijing Representative Office
Unit 1307A, Air China Plaza Tower 1, No. 36 Xiaoyun Road,
Chaoyang District, 100027, Beijing, China
ParticleScout recognized by readers as an outstanding innovation
November 24th, 2020
WITec GmbH, innovator of Raman and correlative imaging microscopes, has received a Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021 for its ParticleScout automated particle analysis tool. ParticleScout won 2nd Place in the category: Spectroscopy and Microscopy.
This award celebrates outstanding innovation in equipment used for scientific analysis. A neutral jury of experts at Wiley created a shortlist from the full range of submissions, and then the readers of the print and digital editions of Wiley Analytical Science’s portfolio of journals voted for their favorites. The winners were announced during the Wiley Analytical Science Conference 2020.
“We’re very honored that ParticleScout has been recognized with this award, especially as it was chosen directly by Wiley’s readers,” said Harald Fischer, Marketing Director at WITec. “Being selected as a finalist and then supported by so many individuals I think reflects the strength of our technology, and also a wider awareness that precisely measuring microparticles and microplastics in our environment is an important and timely capability.”
ParticleScout is an advanced particle analysis tool that uses white light and Raman microscopy, a fast, label-free and non-destructive chemical characterization method, to find, classify, identify and quantify microparticles. It streamlines the entire microparticle analysis workflow, increasing the rate at which measurements can be performed and the number of particles that can be evaluated.
ParticleScout’s features include the ability to detect particles less than 1 µm in size, a variety of user-definable Boolean filters for particle categorization, and full integration with a Raman spectral database management software for sample component identification.
WITec ParticleScout product page:
- Press Release - WITec Wins Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021 - English (DOCX) (875 KB)
- Press Release - WITec Wins Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021 - English (PDF) (232 KB)
- Image - WITec Wins Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021 (4.6 MB)
We’ve produced aerial drone footage of our headquarters expansion that shows its current state of construction. The work is progressing quickly and the scale of the addition that will double capacity at our core facility is clearly visible. We look forward to the new spaces for production, development, shipping, product demonstrations and many other uses that it will offer when completed.
See the video below for a view of the changes to WITec’s home in Ulm, Germany. For more details about the design, utility and context of our new building expansion, please refer to the original press release.
Headquarters expansion update video (YouTube):
Original headquarters expansion press release:
Online event showcased the latest research and drew international participation
WITec GmbH, the driver of innovation in Raman and correlative microscopy, has completed hosting its first entirely online scientific conference.
The Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 was organized as a substitute for the renowned Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium. WITec wanted to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of the exciting chemical characterization research that continues to advance while the scientific community is distributed. It was a response to the uncertainty and travel restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic, and it was a resounding success.
Over 250 people took part and 55 scientific posters were submitted in four different categories. The range of applications included the analysis of active ingredient and excipient distribution in pharmaceutical tablets, characterization of battery materials, detection of microplastic particles, cancer diagnosis, chemical analyses of organoids and polymer fibers in 3D, bacterial signaling investigation, analysis of microinclusions in arctic ice, extremely high-pressure Raman measurements, strain analyses in semiconductors, and many more.
“We were cautiously optimistic that the community would embrace the online conference format to share their recent work, and then the reaction far exceeded our expectations,” described WITec Marketing Director Harald Fischer. “The diversity, both scientifically and geographically, of the posters submitted really reflected the widespread adoption of Raman imaging.”
Discussions were carried out on the platform’s chat function and participants cast their votes for the Best Poster Award, which was won by Dr. Nathalie Jung (Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) for her presentation titled, “Chemically-selective visualisation of organoids and their interaction with hydrogel matrices.”
The Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit and the thoroughly international engagement it produced has encouraged WITec to continue developing online event formats while the company looks forward to bringing the Raman imaging community back together in person. The Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium will return for its 17th occasion from September 27th through the 29th, 2021 in Ulm, Germany.
Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 review page:
Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium home page:
- Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 Press Release EN (PDF) (206 KB)
- Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 Press Release EN (docx) (274 KB)
- Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 Press Release DE (PDF) (504 KB)
- Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 Press Release DE (docx) (278 KB)
- WITec Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 Banner (401 KB)
- WITec Poster Summit 2020 Welcome Session (4.7 MB)
- WITec Poster Award Winner 2020 (1.7 MB)
Online conference offers the Raman community a forum for scientific exchange
August 11th, 2020
WITec GmbH, technology leader in Raman microscopy, is hosting its first Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit from September 28th to October 2nd, 2020.
This online conference offers the worldwide Raman community the chance to present and discuss their work from the convenience of their homes or home laboratories. Session topics will include: Life Sciences, Biomedical and Pharma Research, Advanced Materials Analysis, Environmental and Geosciences, and Correlative Imaging Applications.
The Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit takes the place of the Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium in the calendar of premiere events for chemical imaging and spectroscopy. The annual Symposium is acclaimed for both the diversity of the disciplines represented in its presentations, and its sociable atmosphere. The Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit will preserve both of these qualities while moving to a distributed format in response to the ongoing pandemic.
As expressed by Harald Fischer, Marketing Director at WITec, “We can’t wait to see what the Raman community has been up to. Even in these uncertain times, scientific progress continues and people are understandably excited about their latest discoveries. The Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit is in 2020 the best platform for sharing that excitement.”
Participants will be able to discuss the research presented through an online chat tool and send questions directly to the poster authors. To conclude the event, everyone will have the chance to vote for their favorite in the Best Poster Award competition. The deadline to submit an abstract for the conference is September 15th, 2020.
For further details, please see the Virtual Poster Summit 2020 homepage:
- Press Release - Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 - English (docx) (317 KB)
- Press Release - Virtual Raman Imaging Poster Summit 2020 - German (docx) (259 KB)
- WITec Virtual Poster Summit 2020 Banner (jpg) (401 KB)
Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are receiving increasing attention due to their unique optical and electronic properties. Their possible applications include the production of transistors, photo detectors, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and photovoltaic cells. In order to produce high-quality devices, synthesis processes must be evaluated efficiently. Thus, non-destructive imaging techniques are required for monitoring crystal properties and features such as grain boundaries, layer number, defect density, doping and strain fields.
In our new application note, we present a series of measurements of CVD-grown mono-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), which illustrate the advantages of correlative Raman, second harmonic generation (SHG) and photoluminescence (PL) microscopy for investigating TMDs. All measurements were performed at the same area of interest using a WITec alpha300 microscope equipped with a 532 nm laser for Raman and PL imaging and a picosecond-pulsed 1064 nm laser for SHG excitation.
Strain fields in the crystal were visualized by Raman and PL imaging, as both the frequency of the E2g Raman mode (upper left image) and the wavelength of the PL signal (lower left image) were red-shifted in the same areas. Rim effects around the border of the MoS2 flake were clearly visible in the PL image (lower left image), as well as in the image of the A1g Raman mode (see the attached application note).
SHG microscopy is sensitive to changes in crystal orientation and symmetry and visualized grain boundaries in the MoS2 flake (upper right picture). Additionally, polarization-dependent SHG measurements can identify the crystal orientation and reveal strain fields. To this end, the excitation polarization is rotated while recording the intensity of the SHG signal component that has the same polarization as the incident light. Polarization series were recorded in a fully automated manner at three positions of the MoS2 flake (lower right picture). The distinct patterns observed indicate different strain levels.
Correlative Raman, PL and SHG imaging yields complementary and consistent information for characterizing single-layer TMD crystals by visualizing features of the crystal structure, such as grain boundaries or strain fields, without damaging the sample.
For more details, including further pictures and references, please download our 2-page application note on correlative high-resolution imaging of MoS2.