Microscopy & Microtechniques

  • New Generation Automated Raman Imaging Microscope Introduced
    The second generation of WITec’s alpha300 apyron offers greater automation and more optical capabilities than ever before.

New Generation Automated Raman Imaging Microscope Introduced

Apr 30 2020

WITec GmbH establishes the next level of automation and user-friendliness with the introduction of the new alpha300 apyron. Its AutoBeam technology unlocks the full potential of WITec’s industry-leading alpha300 series. The alpha300 apyron’s entirely new optical, analytical and remote operation capabilities mark the furthest advance yet in speed, sensitivity and resolution.

The alpha300 apyron can self-align and self-calibrate, which substantially reduces the researcher’s experimental workload by requiring less user input, enhancing reproducibility and eliminating potential sources of error. This is made possible by a complete set of WITec’s AutoBeam opto-mechanical components, a new and versatile tool kit that can be configured to create the perfect experimental setup for every investigation.

New functionalities provided by AutoBeam modules include polarisation-dependent measurements with motorised polariser and analyser rotation, push-button spectrometer connection and signal maximisation, and automated adjustment of both iris diaphragms. Software-driven automation also allows the alpha300 apyron to be operated completely remotely, whether in an environmental enclosure such as a glove box, or from another location.

According to Olaf Hollricher, Co-founder and Managing Director of Research and Development at WITec: “The alpha300 apyron, with its AutoBeam tool kit, is the culmination of our efforts to fully automate the Raman imaging process. It allows remote control, even from home, and can self-optimise for every measurement so researchers always get the best possible results.”  

Available with a wide variety of excitation wavelengths from the ultraviolet through the visible into the near infrared, alpha300 apyron microscopes can be equipped with up to three ultra-high throughput WITec UHTS spectrometers and their accompanying range of detectors. Raman imaging and correlative measurements are defined, executed, saved and evaluated with WITec’s Suite FIVE software and intuitive EasyLink handheld controller.

WITec began automating Raman imaging measurements with the first generation apyron. Its advanced technology was introduced to the alpha300 line in stages of spiral development. The new consolidated alpha300 series is a continuous spectrum, from the entry-level access up to the flagship apyron. They all share the same rock-solid stability, fibre-based flexibility and integrated software environment. 

As described by Joachim Koenen, Co-founder and Managing Director of WITec: “Many cutting-edge automated features of the apyron have made their way into the alpha300 line of microscopes over the past five years. As we developed new optical capabilities and hardware, they were built to a common standard. Now someone can configure an access, an apyron, or anything in between to meet the specific requirements of their research, even as it evolves.”

The user-friendliness of the alpha300 apyron makes advanced confocal Raman imaging accessible to researchers of all experience levels and fields of application. Scientists working in materials science, environmental science and microparticle analysis, life science, food science, geology, pharmaceutics and many other fields will benefit from automated alignment routines that provide consistently optimised performance. The alpha300 apyron accelerates both the experimental setup and subsequent measurement workflow.

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