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Acquisition Strengthens Agilent's Portfolio of Instrumentation for Nanomechanical Properties

Published on July 1, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Agilent Technologies Inc. today announced that it has acquired the Nano Instruments business unit of MTS Systems Corp. The acquisition will strengthen Agilent's portfolio of instrumentation for imaging, characterizing and quantifying nanomechanical material properties. Financial details were not disclosed.

Based in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Nano Instruments is a leading supplier of nanoindentation systems and related equipment as well as supporting software. The G200 and G300 nanoindentation systems and the Nano UTM (Universal Testing Machine) system are used in applications such as verifying the structural integrity of semiconductor devices, coatings and thin films. Nano Instruments’ customers are typically academic and industrial researchers involved in materials sciences, semiconductor and life sciences.

Nanoindentation is an adjacent market to atomic force microscopy; Agilent currently sells atomic force microscopes (AFMs). Both nanoindentation systems and AFMs are used to measure and characterize materials for hardness, elasticity and viscosity at the nanometer scale; research laboratories that use AFMs typically have a nanoindentation system in close proximity.

“Nano Instruments has great depth of experience and a well-deserved reputation for excellence in nanoindentation,” said Bob Burns, vice president of Agilent’s Nanotechnology Measurements Division. “With Agilent’s robust sales channel and global infrastructure, we anticipate growing the Nano Instruments business and offering a more complete nanomeasurement product portfolio to our customers worldwide.”

The Nano Instruments business is joining Agilent’s Materials Science Solutions Unit, within Agilent’s Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis business. The unit was formed in 2007 under the leadership of Mike Gasparian, vice president and general manager. MSSU’s focus is to provide microscopy, particle analysis and optical spectroscopy solutions for the materials testing, life sciences and chemical analysis markets, as well as to advance nanotechnology. Other recent acquisitions in this business unit include TILL Photonics (microscopy) and Colloidal Dynamics (particle analysis).

“I’m looking forward to working with the other groups within Agilent to share our technology and enhance the nanoindentation product roadmap,” said Warren Oliver, general manager and co-founder of Nano Instruments, who has joined Agilent. “From a technology, product, people and culture perspective, our two companies are a great fit.”

Oliver and John Pethica co-founded Nano Instruments in 1983. The business was then acquired by MTS Systems Corp. in 1998. The Nano Instruments business has about 45 employees, who have joined Agilent.

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