Leading Australian supplier of high technology scientific equipment AXT Pty Ltd has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Delmic, a Dutch company specialising in unique fluorescent/SEM (SECOM) and cathodoluminescent/SEM (SPARC) correlative microscopy technology.
The Delmic SECOM system is suited to life science applications and is an add-on system for scanning electron microscopes (SEMs). It effectively integrates a fluorescent microscope into an SEM and allows the user to simultaneously image a specimen using both systems, yielding more useful information at a much faster rate.
One of the major benefits of the SECOM correlative microscopy technique is that the operator can overlay images from both techniques. While fluorescence microscopy is popular in the life science arena due to its ability to reveal functional protein information, the technique lacks the ability to show structural detail. Adding SEM capabilities overcomes this limitation, while the correlative/simultaneous nature enables the researcher to look at the identical cell at the same time. SEMs also introduce the possibility of analysis using other complementary techniques such as BSD, SE and EDX.
Delmic CEO Sander den Hoedt explains that prior to SECOM, there were no off-the-shelf systems that integrated both fluorescence and scanning electron microscopes. It was a tedious and manual process if a researcher wanted to image their specimen using both systems to try and reveal complementary information. Additionally, with many specimens being biological, they have the propensity to change during the transition from one microscopy technique to the other. SECOM overcomes these problems while eliminating the possibility of contamination.
Richard Trett, AXT Managing Director comments that the Delmic SECOM system dovetails nicely with their range of TESCAN scanning electron microscopes and broadens their appeal to the life science sector.
Similar to the SECOM system, the SPARC system provides analytical CL capabilities to SEMs and is aimed at the nanophotonics market. It is one of very few systems that can provide a full spectrum analysis of the resultant emission to determine the CL intensity.
SECOM and SPARC systems are available as an add-on for SEMs. Easily installed and removed as required, the systems feature a user-friendly interface that can control both the microscope and SEM with the ease of an optical microscope.