Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy

Company Background

Xradia, Inc. develops technology to help advance innovation in science and industry by providing unique insight through superior X-ray imaging solutions. Xradia products utilize advanced X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging methodology and optics to nondestructively produce 3D images of objects with exceptional spatial resolution and contrast. Xradia adds a new dimension to ever more sophisticated evolutions in imaging techniques including light and electron microscopes and scanning probes (1). 

With over 50 synchrotron and lab systems in the field, Xradia's imaging products are widely accepted by the scientific research community and the industry.   Xradia's technology is based on proprietary X-ray optics and detectors. Xradia produces state-of-the-art far-field ambient environment imaging systems capable of 3D imaging with resolution below 50 nm. Xradia's commercial products have 3D resolution from the nanometer level up to several hundred microns.  Xradia is recognized as the sole supplier of innovative nanoscale 2D and 3D X-ray imaging solutions and is regarded as the leading supplier of the latest generation of 3D X-ray imaging systems with micrometer scale resolution (1).

ZEISS, the international leader in the fields of optics and optoelectronics completed the acquisition of Xradia on July 12, 2013 after all formal conditions, as set in the Acquisition Agreement, were fulfilled. Xradia, Inc. is now operating under the new name of Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy, Inc. This acquisition further strengthens the position of the ZEISS Microscopy business group, the only manufacturer of light, electron and X-ray microscopes, with unique solutions for research and routine inspection in materials and life sciences application fields.  While maintaining close customer relationships and continuing with current projects, ZEISS is leveraging its vast sales force to make the X-ray technology more accessible in a broader range of applications and workflows. Customers will also benefit from direct service capabilities at multiple locations globally (2).

Suppliers and Buyers

Xradia has made sales of its MicroXCTTM 3D Transmission X-ray Microscopes, to semiconductor manufacturers for advanced packaging process development and failure analysis (3).   Besides private company sales, Xradia’s tools are also highly sought after by many universities and government organizations.  Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  awarded Mohammed Akhter, Ph.D., P.E., professor of medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine and director of the biomechanics laboratory at the Osteoporosis Research Center, a nearly $600,000 Shared Instrumentation Grant to install the area's first high-resolution 3D X-ray Microscope, the Xradia MicroXCT-200 (4).  The University of Manchester has purchased the VersaXRM-500 3D X-ray microscope with funding from The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council for use in its advanced imaging laboratory. Manchester selected the XRM to better understand the evolution of structure over time (the fourth dimension), under varying conditions and in a wide range of scales (5).  Researchers at Northwestern University's Department of Radiation Oncology and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory recently deployed a new non-destructive X-ray microscopy solution from Xradia to image cryogenically preserved cells and advance studies of intra-cellular biology (6).

Strategic Partnerships

Before the partnership with Carl Zeiss, Xradia had received funding and held strategic partnerships with other companies and organizations.  In 2007,Harris & Harris Group, Inc. invested $4 million as a lead investor in a Series D Preferred round of financing in Xradia, that includes an investment from an existing investor (7).

Innovation and Technology

ZEISS is introducing a new X-ray microscopy (XRM) solution that increases throughput for three-dimensional imaging at the nanoscale by up to 10 times. Using a series of technical innovations to achieve better contrast, and in turn faster acquisition, the new ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra revolutionizes the X-ray imaging model in scientific and industrial research labs worldwide.  Xradia 810 Ultra operates at 5.4 keV, a lower X-ray energy that delivers better contrast and image quality for many materials. Contrast improves significantly as these lower-energy X-rays are absorbed more strongly, enabling high-quality tomographies to be completed at vastly reduced imaging times. The ZEISS business unit X-ray Microscopy engineered the Xradia 810 Ultra architecture around this new source energy, using innovative optics to extend the capabilities of the Xradia Ultra family, the only lab-based non-destructive imaging solutions to achieve resolution down to 50 nanometers (8).

Products

  • ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa - Submicron X-ray Imaging
  • ZEISS Xradia 510 Versa - Submicron X-ray Imaging
  • ZEISS Xradia 410 Versa  - Submicron X-ray Imaging
  • ZEISS Xradia 800 Ultra - Nanoscale X-ray Imaging
  • ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra - Nanoscale X-ray Imaging (9).

Sources       

  1. AZoNano (2013). “Xradia.” Retrieved on October 4,2013 from www.azonano.com/suppliers.aspx?SupplierID=2366
  2. AZoNano (2013, July 19).  “ZEISS Acquires US-based Xradia.”  Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=27878
  3. AZoNano (2007, July 2). “Xradia Announce The Sale of Transmission X-Ray Microscopes to Semiconductor Manufacturers.”  Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=4374
  4. AZoNano (2013, July 11). “Creighton University Receives NIH Funding to Install Xradia High-Resolution 3D X-ray Microscope.” Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=27822
  5. Nanowerk (2012, October 19). “The University of Manchester Moves Into the 4th Dimension With Xradia's VersaXRM.” Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.nanowerk.com/news2/newsid=27043.php
  6. Nanowerk (2012, April 24). “Northwestern University and Argonne National Lab Using Breakthrough Xradia Microscopy Solution to Advance Life Science Research.” Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=24990.php
  7. Nanotechnology Now (2007,January 14).  “Harris & Harris Group Invests in Xradia, Inc.”  Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=19644
  8. AZoNano (2013, August 6). “ZEISS Launches Nanoscale X-ray Microscopy Solution That Increases Imaging Throughput by 10 Times.” Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=27986
  9. Carl Zeiss (2013). “Products.” Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from www.xradia.com/?page_id=282