March 2018

alpha300 Ri - New inverted confocal Raman microscope

WITec’s proven 3D Raman imaging functionality is now available in an inverted microscope.

WITec has launched the alpha300 Ri inverted Raman microscope. It combines the advantages of data acquisition from below with the established merits of 3D confocal Raman imaging, a powerful and versatile technique that can chemically characterize samples nondestructively and without labeling or other specialized preparation. The speed, sensitivity and resolution of the WITec alpha300 series are now available from a new angle. Research applications in the fields of life sciences, biomedicine and pharmaceutics will benefit in particular from the new setup.

The inverted beam geometry of the alpha300 Ri delivers many advantages in sample access and handling. Specimens in aqueous environments such as cell cultures can be examined more effectively. Standardized liquid sample holder formats can be quickly and easily mounted and measured. This accelerates the experimental workflow and helps ensure consistency. Investigations in materials science will be aided by the very large working area that can accommodate bulky samples and the set focal plane. The motorized sample stage also facilitates the mounting of environmental enclosures and other accessories.

Many modular components and upgrade possibilities developed for the WITec alpha300 series are compatible with the Ri version. Other microscopy techniques associated with inverted microscopes, such as fluorescence, differential interference contrast (DIC) and phase-contrast can also be easily integrated.

According to Olaf Hollricher, Director of Research and Development at WITec, “Researchers in life sciences are accustomed to working with inverted microscopes and their advantages for in vivo measurements, among others, are well-established. Developing a variant of our alpha300 confocal Raman imaging series with an inverted beam is a logical step in the evolution of our product line. Now the benefits of nondestructive, label-free molecular characterization are available from below the sample plane, backed up by all the modularity and upgradeability inherent in our systems.”

The WITec alpha300 Ri will be showcased at Analytica 2018 in Munich at the WITec booth A2/402. For more information, please visit the product webpage >>>.

March 2018

WITec Releases TrueMatch - Integrated Raman Spectral Database Software

TrueMatch is a powerful and innovative software component for accessing and developing Raman spectral databases

WITec, manufacturer of 3D Raman imaging systems, is now offering TrueMatch, a powerful software component for accessing and creating Raman spectral databases. It can search existing libraries of Raman spectra to identify sample components and also allows users to create their own catalog of acquired spectra to assist in their research.

TrueMatch is available as a fully integrated option with the WITec Project FIVE software environment and databases can be brought directly into use in post-processing. Multi-spectral searches enable the user to identify several spectra simultaneously, and return hit rates that show the probability of a match for each individual spectrum. This greatly accelerates the process of characterization and is a perfect complement to WITec’s standard data analysis features. Demix search uses databases to describe acquired spectra in terms of pure substances, which can then be physically located in an image. Seeing the distribution of pure chemical components matched to sample features gives the researcher a precise visualization. Generated reports can be stored for further use in subsequent measurements, amplifying the effectiveness of the system as a whole and turning meaningful results into a valuable resource.

In addition to the proprietary WITec Raman database capability included with TrueMatch, compatible versions of ST Japan’s wide range of databases are available. Extensive libraries of Raman spectra can be referenced while new ones are created, all from within WITec’s fully-integrated software and hardware environment.

“TrueMatch makes it easier for the user to interpret their Raman images. It also greatly simplifies the process of searching through Raman spectral databases and creating new ones based on user-generated data compared to anything else out there. It’s the perfect complement to the standard analysis methods WITec implements in our Suite FIVE software environment,” says Olaf Hollricher, Managing Director and Director of Development at WITec, in summarizing the advantages of the new software.

Visit the TrueMatch product page for detailed information on the new software.


December 2017

WITec Suite FIVE Software Now Features Active Focus Stabilization

3D Raman image of cellulose fibers and additives in paper. In order to document the precision of the new focus stabilization, a very long measurement time of 46 hours was chosen.

WITec, industry-leading manufacturer of Raman imaging and correlative microscopy systems, has started shipping its Suite FIVE data acquisition, evaluation and processing software with the new ability to compensate for thermal and mechanical variations during long-term measurements.

Confocal Raman microscopy investigations performed on delicate samples often require lower excitation power and a corresponding increase in acquisition time. Active focus stabilization ensures that the ideal focus between the microscope objective and sample is maintained and signal collection is unaffected while temperature or humidity changes. This is accomplished by an automatic routine that uses a reference point to optimize the Raman signal.

This most recent development in WITec’s ongoing effort to provide results-oriented functionality is a standard and fully-integrated enhancement to the powerful Suite FIVE software package.

October 2017

Notes on the 14th Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium

Winners of the Poster Award Thomas Rabl (left) and Vera Dugandžic with WITec’s CEO Joachim Koenen (right).

In the shadow of the world's tallest church, more than 100 scientists met in Ulm at the end of September for the 14th Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium. The lectures thoroughly documented how modern Raman microscopy contributes to gaining new insights into widely varied scientific questions.

In 11 invited lectures three short presentations, the speakers presented new and interesting applications of Raman microscopy to answer questions from life sciences, materials science, geoscience and environmental science.

Full article

Image with participants

Review Video



August 2017

Top launch at M&M 2017: WITec’s RISE Microscopy with ZEISS Sigma 300 SEM

Top: Combination of WITec Raman microscope and ZEISS Sigma 300 SEM. The Raman microscope is attached through a standard port to the SEM.
Bottom: RISE image of a piece of hematite, showing hematite and goethite in several crystal orientations, that were identified from the Raman spectra.

WITec’s solution for correlative Raman-SEM imaging is now available for ZEISS Sigma 300, a field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). With this jointly-developed system, WITec and ZEISS have furthered their collaboration to provide a fully-integrated instrument available as an OEM product through ZEISS that features a standard, unmodified vacuum chamber and SEM column along with a complete confocal Raman microscope and spectrometer. It expands the range of choices available to the researcher and incorporates generations of experience in Raman spectroscopic imaging and advanced structural analysis.

RISE stands for Raman Imaging and Scanning Electron microscopy. The seamless combination of the two techniques offers a distinct advantage when investigating samples, improves ease-of-use and accelerates experimental workflow. The research-grade optical microscope capability integral to every WITec microscope also helps researchers survey their sample and quickly locate areas of interest. Both the objective and sample stage required for Raman microscopy are placed within the SEM’s vacuum chamber and can therefore remain under vacuum for all measurements; the sample is simply transferred between the Raman and SEM measuring positions using the stage of ZEISS Sigma 300. The configuration allows the Raman microscope to be attached through a standard port of the SEM. The correlation of data and control of Raman measurements are carried out through WITec’s Suite FIVE software, which features a new operating concept with an intuitive interface, automated components and sophisticated software and data analysis routines.

According to Dr. Olaf Hollricher, Co-founder and Director of R&D at WITec, "Our Raman technology can visualize the distribution of chemical species within a sample, and do it quickly. Combine that with the structural resolution of SEM and you get a properly comprehensive understanding of a sample. It’s a powerful instrument that’s intuitive as well."

ZEISS Sigma 300 provides exceptional resolution, contrast and brightness at a price point accessible to most laboratories and working groups. With its Gemini electron optics, including an Inlens secondary electron detector tailored for high-resolution surface-sensitive imaging, the instrument is inherently flexible and precise. FE-SEMs enable structural characterization of particles, surfaces and nanostructures and the ZEISS Sigma series 4-step automated workflow allows for increased productivity.

WITec’s modular Raman technology allows 3D chemical characterization by combining a high-resolution confocal microscope with a high-throughput Raman spectrometer. Raman imaging, pioneered by WITec, is a label-free and non-destructive technique capable of identifying and imaging the molecular composition of a sample, making it an ideal complement to scanning electron microscopy.

"Comprehensive characterization is essential throughout many scientific fields such as battery research, geology and life sciences. The integration of RISE microscopy in our correlative portfolio aims at delivering cutting edge technology to these and many other areas of research. We are very happy that with WITec we have a partner that shares our ambition to drive scientific advancement," says Dr. Michael Rauscher, Head of Business Sector Materials Sciences at ZEISS Microscopy.

"RISE really fulfills the promise of correlative microscopy," says Dr. Philippe Ayasse, Project Manager for RISE microscopy at WITec. “It gives the user the strengths of Raman and SEM without compromise, all consolidated in one easy to use instrument.”

All the functions of the respective stand-alone SEM and Raman systems are preserved when combined. Switching between measurement modes is accomplished quickly and easily through the software, which also facilitates the transformation of Raman spectroscopic data into an image which can then be overlaid onto the SEM image to produce a RISE image. This correlative approach can greatly benefit researchers in nanotechnology, life sciences, geosciences, pharmaceutics, materials research and many other fields of application.

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