AZoM conducted a series of interviews at the MS&T 07 trade exhibition in Detroit between September 17 and 18. Here's what one of the exhibitors had to say when asked about their latest developments, products and technologies.
Interviewee: Cara Noack, Midwest Regional Sales Manager, Oxford Instruments
Interviewer: Cameron Chai, AZoNano
AZoNano: This is Cameron Chai here from AZoNano.com and I’ve got Cara Nyke from Oxford Instruments here at the MS&T Trade Show in Detroit. So how’s the trade show going for you, Cara?
Oxford Instruments: It’s going very well. We’ve had a nice steady stream of people coming by.
AZoNano: Very good. I see you’ve also been talking to lots of people that seem to already have your equipment in their labs.
Oxford Instruments: Yeah, absolutely. Some that have EDS systems or WDS or EBSD systems as well.
AZoNano: Very good. And for anybody who’s not familiar with Oxford Instruments, what sort of things do you do?
Oxford Instruments: Well we’re in the nano analysis group and so the kinds of things that we sell are, like I said, EDS systems, WDS, EBSD and we also recently started supplying Kleindig micromanipulators as well.
AZoNano: Wow, that sounds pretty fancy. These devices that you guys supply are mainly for chemical analysis type applications?
Oxford Instruments: Absolutely. The EDS and WDS are for an element analysis. The EBSD for crystallographic information. And the nanomanipulators can be for a variety of different things, but basically being able to move around very minute objects.
AZoNano: Must be an exciting field. Everybody’s trying to get into nanotechnology these days. Lots of money flying around, government grants, things like that. Hopefully a lot of it’s coming your way to buy new instruments.
Oxford Instruments: Oh, absolutely, and keep ‘em coming.
AZoNano: Now, on the new product front, I see you guys have got a new EBSD system.
Oxford Instruments: We do.
AZoNano: Can you tell us, for anybody who doesn’t know, what does an EBSD system do?
Oxford Instruments: Well EBSD stands for electron back scatter diffraction. And what it does is it takes the back scatter electrons from a scanning electron microscope system that bounces off of your sample and creates these patterns that we call Kikuchi patterns. And we take that information and that helps us identify crystallographic information about your substrate. And that can be used for a variety of different things from grain orientations, can help you with phase analysis, texture. So a lot of folks are getting into this technology. It’s been around for maybe about nine years, but it’s just starting to really take off.
AZoNano: Great. So this new system you have, it’s got a fast camera facility? What does that mean?
Oxford Instruments: Well, yeah, the new exciting product from Oxford is called the NordlysF 400 and the 400 stands for the fact that we can do 400 Hertz data collection. So that many patterns per second can be identified and solved. So it’s really a giant breakthrough in the industry. It’s definitely the fastest camera available and what that’s going to do for you is allow you to take runs that typically would have to be done overnight. And sometimes now can be done within an hour. So that’s a big advantage.
AZoNano: Well that sort of helps everybody develop products faster which is what everybody’s about: speed.
Oxford Instruments: Absolutely. And another thing too, it’s really helpful for folks that have focus ion beam systems, or FIBS. That’s where they take an ion beam and cut through the substrate and so you’re able to analyse through a three dimensional object and so you can see how long that could potentially take with a traditional EBSD system and what kind of huge advantage improving the throughput with the fast camera can give you.
AZoNano: Is that applicable to things like coatings and that type of thing?
Oxford Instruments: Well, you need to have the crystallographic substrate to begin with. So folks that are doing work with metals or ceramics, these type of people would be aerospace, automotive, heavy duty diesel, geological applications as well. Government labs, steel companies, these are the types of people that typically buy our EBSD systems and can benefit from the new fast camera.
AZoNano: Sounds great. Alright then, thanks very much for spending a few minutes with us, Cara.
Oxford Instruments: Thank you very much.
AZoNano: I hope the rest of the trade show goes well for you and I hope the new Nordlys system makes a big impact in the industry.
Oxford Instruments: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
AZoNano: Thank you.