Company Background

Peter and Rex Swann founded Gatan, a manufacturer of instrumentation and software for improving electron microscopes (EM) in Pennsylvania in 1964 (1a). In 1983, they opened a research and development facility in Pleasanton, California (1a). As a recognized leader in the electron microscope industry, their products cover the entire process of research (1a).

Strategic Partnerships

Gatan in a member of the Analytical Instrumentation segment of Roper Industries and also has a partnership with Lawerence Berkeley National Laboratories and the University of California at San Francisco (1a,d). They have also collaborated with Carl Zeiss Microscopy (1d).

Buyers of the company include end users of analytical instrumentation in laboratories (1a).

Innovation and Technology

Digital micrographs in conjunction with the Bruker Esprit EDS system have created a data collection system that allows EES, EDS, and dark field detectors to operate efficiently at rates over 1kHz (1b).

At the M&M Show in Phoenix, Gatan was recognized for the K2 Summit, which won the Microscopy Today Innovation Award. The K2 Summit uses a camera specifically designed to maximize detective quantum efficiency through single electron counting (1c). This development advances TEM image recording because of its sophisticated DQE, field of view, speed, and radiation hardness (1c).

In collaboration with Carl Zeiss Microscopy, Gatan has worked to promote the development and sales of high performance Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopes (1d). The EMs, with Gatan’s 3-view technique, creates 3D data from large data samples (1d).


Gatan is the leading supplier of specimen preparation, with their full line of premier EM specimen prep labs (1e). They also produce specimen holders, with a range that includes analytical, cooling and cryo-transfer, environmental and cell vacuum transfers, heating, straining and multiple specimen transfers, and tomography holders (1e). Imaging products include CCD cameras that have been designed and optimized for a variety of TEM applications (1e). They also produce analytical TEM, SEM instruments, and software (1e).


  1. Gatan (2012). Retrieved  on December 13, 2012 from