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SPECS Acquires Leading Developer and Manufacturer of Nanotechnology Control Equipment

Published on January 30, 2009 at 7:41 AM

SPECS GmbH, which provides surface analysis tools and UHV equipment, announced today that it has acquired privately held Nanonis GmbH, based in Switzerland, a leading developer and manufacturer of nanotechnology control equipment. At the same time SPECS announces the immediate availability of its new UHV atomic force microscope, the Aarhus SPM with KolibriSensor™.

Berlin-based SPECS specializes in surface analysis tools. With the exclusive licensing of the ultra-stable STM 150 Aarhus, SPECS gained world-wide recognition and could capture a substantial market share in the UHV STM market. Originally developed at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, the STM 150 Aarhus was further developed by SPECS to add the possibility of using the new KolibriSensor™ for non-contact AFM.

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, Nanonis is well known for its control system for scanning probe microscopes. Over a very short period of time the Nanonis control system has gained an excellent name in the community for its high flexibility and reliability. Having first sold its system to clients who built their own microscopes, Nanonis today mainly sells controllers to researchers with commercial microscopes who want to upgrade their systems in order to perform new types of experiments that were not possible with the original system.

“This is a strategic acquisition for SPECS because it complements our strength in the scanning probe market,” says Reinhard Lembke, CEO of SPECS. “For our Aarhus SPM with KolibriSensor™ we wanted the best control system – a compromise was out of question. Therefore the collaboration with Nanonis was the natural path to go. The combination of both will let us push forward scanning probe microscopy in particular and surface science in general. We are going to continue to serve the market Nanonis has catered to and provide the same excellent service our customers have become accustomed to. At the same time we will increase the development effort for the Nanonis controller to add new scanning modes and features to an already excellent system.”

“We’re looking forward to being part of SPECS because of the deep expertise and history of continued innovation over the past 25 years in the company,” says Tobias Vancura, CEO of Nanonis. “The performance of the new Aarhus SPM with KolibriSensor™ is amazing. Of all the companies SPECS is the best possible match for us, both in technology and culture.”

Nanonis’ operations will stay in Zurich. Controller development and support will continue to be based in Zurich while the microscope is developed in Berlin.

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