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Posted in | Nanomedicine | Nanobusiness

Oxford’s 3-Dimensional Atom Probe Wins National Measurement Award for Innovative Measurement

Published on December 8, 2004 at 12:03 PM

The 2004 National Measurement Award for Innovative Measurement has been won by researchers at Oxford University Materials Department and Oxford nanoScience Ltd for the development and successful commercialisation of the 3-Dimensional Atom Probe (3DAP). This novel technique allows materials scientists to locate the position of and chemically identify individual atoms in a conducting material so that the structure on the nanoscale can be directly related to macroscale properties of the material.

The 3DAP was developed in the Materials Department of Oxford University by Professors Alfred Cerezo and George Smith FRS and is now available as a commercial instrument from Oxford nanoScience Ltd, part of Polaron plc. The company has the largest installed base of atom probe systems worldwide and has sold five systems into Japan.

The Innovative Measurement Award is one of 5 categories in the National Measurement Awards and recognises ‘ideas that have developed past the demonstration/prototype stage and can demonstrate the viability of the new technology to potential users’. Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science and Innovation who is personaly involved with the scheme said; "This event is an exciting demonstration of what can be done and I look forward to an even greater flow of new ideas in the future to in assist the growth of the economy and promote the reputation of the UK for innovation."

Carl Hatton, Sales Director for Oxford nanoScience, commented: “We are delighted to receive such a prestigious accolade, especially given the exceptional quality of the other finalists. We believe that the 3DAP is ready to emerge as one the essential weapons in the armoury of analysis techniques available to materials scientists. We have already established an impressive list of customers, and interest worldwide is growing steadily. An increase in sales rewards the considerable investment that has been required for an instrument of this complexity. We are proud that a British company is at the leading edge of research and development”.

The Award was judged on three key criteria: the degree of technical innovation; the level of impact on current industrial metrology and measurement standards, and the feasibility of the prototype and its development into a marketable product. The judges said information produced by the 3D Atom Probe would grow in importance and underpin future developments in nanotechnology. The device, they said, ”represented the ultimate in nano-structured materials science chemical analysis”.

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