News

July 2019

2019 WITec Paper Award

WITec is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Paper Award, which recognizes three outstanding peer-reviewed articles from the previous year that feature data acquired with a WITec microscope. Choosing from among the many excellent publications is never an easy task and WITec thanks all the researchers who submitted their work. This year’s winners are scientists from Austria, England and Finland, who used Raman imaging in their studies of heartwood formation, the origin of Palaeoproterozoic granules and threading dislocations in a semiconducting material.

 

The Paper Award GOLD

The oldest trees are several thousand years old. How do they reach such an impressive age? During heartwood formation, many trees produce substances which protect them against bacteria, fungi or insects. Martin Felhofer from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, receives the Gold Paper Award 2019 for his research on such impregnating substances, together with his colleagues Batirtze Prats-Mateu, Peter Bock and Notburga Gierlinger. Using confocal Raman imaging, they revealed the sub-cellular distribution of pinosylvins and lipids in different parts of pine tree sections. Both compounds co-localized, but their ratio changed during heartwood formation. While pinosylvins dominated in the heartwood, the sapwood contained mainly lipids. Spruce sapwood usually doesn’t produce pinosylvins. Nevertheless, in vitro impregnation of spruce sapwood with pine extract reproduced the distribution patterns from pine.  Thus, the authors hypothesized that the “symbiotic relationship between pinosylvins and lipids” is important for the impregnation process during heartwood formation and protection of the wood against decay.

 

The Paper Award SILVER

Traces of early microbial life on Earth can be found in the form of their biosignatures preserved in sedimentary rocks. Valuable information on the origin of life can thus be gained from the characterization of sediments. However, deciding if the organic material in sediments is actually of biological origin is not always straightforward. Matthew S. Dodd from University College London, UK, receives the Silver Paper Award 2019 for investigating the origins of granular iron formations (GIFs) together with his colleagues Dominic Papineau, Zhenbing She, Marilyn L. Fogel, Sandra Nederbragt and Franco Pirajno from research institutions worldwide. The origins of GIFs continue to be debated. There are publications that provide support for theories of sediment reworking, mineral precipitation or biological origins. Together with his colleagues, Matthew Dodd characterized Palaeoproterozoic granules from various locations around the world (China, USA, Canada and Australia) using Raman imaging and other techniques. They discussed their findings with respect to potential origins of the granules and found that biological processes and chemically-oscillating reactions played a key role in GIF formation in all locations, although other processes may have contributed as well. For example, some GIFs originated from diagenetic reactions, in which organic matter was oxidized while sulphate or ferric iron was reduced by sulphate- or iron-reducing bacteria. The authors concluded that, “As such, granules have excellent potential to be considered as promising biosignatures for studying Precambrian biogeochemistry, as well as astrobiology.”

 

The Paper Award BRONZE

Optoelectronic devices, such as light-emitting diodes, detectors, satellites or solar cells, are often produced from gallium nitride (GaN) due to the advantageous properties of this semiconducting material. Methods for growing high-quality GaN crystals are thus required and defects in the crystals need to be detected efficiently and without damaging the sample. Joonas T. Holmi from Aalto University in Finland receives the Bronze Paper Award 2019 for showing how 3D Raman imaging can characterize threading dislocations (TDs) in α-GaN crystals, together with his colleagues Bakhysh H. Bairamov, Sami Suihkonen and Harri Lipsanen. TDs cause local stress in the α-GaN crystal, a defect that is not visible in a wide-field image. However, the stress field causes some peak shifts in the Raman spectrum. Quantifying the Raman peak shift of E2H at each position on the crystal surface made it possible to locate the distortions and estimate the TD density. By recording z-stacks, the propagation of the stress field into the crystal volume could be visualized in 3D. The described method could even characterize the TDs further, distinguishing between edge a-type and mixed a+c-type TDs and the authors discuss how the method can be extended to also identify screw c-type TDs. They conclude by recommending 3D confocal Raman imaging for characterizing TD types in ammonothermally grown α-GaN crystals.

 

The WITec Paper Award 2019 Winners

  • GOLD: Martin Felhofer, Batirtze Prats-Mateu, Peter Bock, Notburga Gierlinger (2018) Antifungal stilbene impregnation: transport and distribution on the micron-level. Tree Physiology 38, pp. 1526-1537. doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpy073
  • SILVER: Matthew S. Dodd, Dominic Papineau, Zhenbing She, Marilyn L. Fogel, Sandra Nederbragt, Franco Pirajno (2018) Organic remains in late Palaeoproterozoic granular iron formations and implications for the origin of granules. Precambrian Research 310, pp. 133-152. doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2018.02.016
  • BRONZE: Joonas T. Holmi, Bakhysh H. Bairamov, Sami Suihkonen, Harri Lipsanen (2018) Identifying threading dislocation types in ammonothermally grown bulk α-GaN by confocal Raman 3-D imaging of volumetric stress distribution. Journal of Crystal Growth 499, pp. 47-54. doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2018.07.024

For a list of all previous Paper Award winners, please visit www.WITec.de/paper-award.

High-resolution pictures of the award ceremonies can be downloaded.
Gold: www.witec.de/assets/Uploads/PaperAward2019-Gold.jpg
Silver: www.witec.de/assets/Uploads/PaperAward2019-Silver.jpg
Bronze: www.witec.de/assets/Uploads/PaperAward2019-Bronze.jpg



WITec announces the Paper Award 2020

Scientists from all fields of application are invited to participate in the Paper Award 2020 (www.WITec.de/paper-award). Articles published in 2019 in a peer-reviewed journal that feature data obtained with a WITec microscope can be submitted to papers@WITec.de by January 31st, 2020. WITec is looking forward to receiving many outstanding publications again.

The winners
Gold (top): From left to right: Co-author Peter Bock, first author Martin Felhofer, senior author Notburga Gierlinger and WITec sales manager Thomas Olschewski.
Silver (middle): Team leader Dominic Papineau (middle) and WITec representative Adrian Knowles (left). First author Matthew Dodd (right) is now working in China.
Bronze (bottom): From left to right: Co-author Bakhysh Bairamov, first author Joonas Holmi and WITec representative Kim Grundström.

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June 2019

Fernando Vargas appointed new Vice President of WITec Instruments Corporation

WITec GmbH, leading manufacturer of Raman and scanning-probe microscopes, has named Dr. Fernando Vargas as Vice President of WITec Instruments Corporation, its USA-based subsidiary, and Area Manager of the USA market.

As a longtime WITec team member with a background in physics, Vargas has extensive experience in both the scientific application and strategic sales of WITec microscopy solutions. He has served for years as the Area Manager for Latin America and will continue to do so in addition to his new roles. As VP and Area Manager for the USA, Vargas will ensure that WITec continues to expand its presence as a manufacturer of high-quality confocal Raman microscopes in the United States and builds on the strong record of effective communication with the scientific community and industry established by the WITec Instruments Corp. team in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“Fernando Vargas will bring wide-ranging expertise to our USA operations while being integral to our headquarters here in Germany. We’re excited to further the development of our market visibility and customer base in the world’s largest national economy,” says Dr. Joachim Koenen, CEO of WITec.

 

Dr. Fernando Vargas
VP WITec Instruments Corp., Area Manager USA and Latin America
Lise-Meitner-Str. 6
89081 Ulm, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 731 140700
Fernando.Vargas@witec.de

New Vice President of WITec Instruments Corporation and Area Manager for USA and Latin America

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March 2019

WITec alpha300 Ri wins SelectScience Scientists’ Choice Award

The inverted confocal Raman microscope took home the prize in the Spectroscopy category.

March 2019, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

The WITec alpha300 Ri inverted Raman microscope has been honored directly by the worldwide readership of SelectScience.net with the Scientists’ Choice Award for Best New Product in the category of Spectroscopy. This greatly coveted award in a very competitive category was voted on by researchers themselves, to recognize the new laboratory technologies that have been the most helpful and effective in their work.

SelectScience announced the winners of the annual Scientists’ Choice Awards during the Pittcon 2019 Conference and Expo, one of the world’s most important laboratory equipment events.

Dr. Joachim Koenen, President and managing director of WITec, expressed his joy about the award in Philadelphia and said: "We are extremely grateful that so many scientists voted for us and contributed their experience with our microscope series. That's what makes the award so special for us."

Harald Fischer, WITec Marketing Director, who accepted the award in the USA together with Koenen, added: "This award is a clear endorsement of the success of our innovation strategy and shows that our 3D Raman imaging products are effective and compelling." Fischer also thanks SelectScience: "The platform has encouraged and supported us in bringing our innovations closer to a wider range of laboratory users, and we’re delighted to see this enthusiastic response.”

WITec’s alpha300 series pioneered and continues to define fast Raman imaging. The inverted beam path of the alpha300 Ri enables Raman excitation and acquisition from below, which is ideal for rapid and repeatable investigations of cuvettes, Petri dishes and other standardized liquid sample container formats. The motorized sample stage also facilitates the mounting of environmental enclosures and other accessories. Researchers in life sciences, geoscience, pharmaceutics and a wide range of other fields can benefit from its versatility in sample handling.

Link to image from the awards ceremony: https://www.witec.de/assets/Press/WITecScientistChoiceAward.jpg

Internet product page: https://www.witec.de/products/raman-microscopes/alpha300-ri-inverted-confocal-raman-imaging/

The WITec team after the Scientists' Choice Award Ceremony at Pittcon in Philadelphia. (l-r. Sasha Boljanovic, CEO WITec Instruments Corp. USA, Harald Fischer, WITec Marketing Director, Dr. Joachim Koenen, WITec President and Managing Director, Dr. Fernando Vargas, WITec Area Manger Latin-America).

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March 2019

ParticleScout, a new analysis tool for faster detection, classification and identification of microparticles

Determine physical and chemical properties with confocal Raman microscopy.

WITec GmbH, pioneer of Raman imaging and correlative microscopy, has introduced ParticleScout, a revolutionary particle analysis tool for the alpha300 Raman microscope series. It enables researchers to find, classify, quantify and identify particles quickly and easily.

ParticleScout delivers a greatly accelerated workflow to the researcher investigating particulate samples while making full use of confocal Raman imaging’s abilities in fast, label-free and nondestructive chemical characterization. It begins by surveying samples with bright and dark field illumination to view the particles they contain. Image Stitching combines many measured areas for a detailed overview of large areas and Focus Stacking allows larger particles to be sharply rendered for accurate outline recognition. The optical images lead to the creation of a mask which is used to physically categorize particles of interest and arrange them in a ranked list. A Raman spectrum is then automatically acquired from each particle.

The Raman spectra are evaluated and the particles they correspond to can be identified manually or by using the seamlessly-integrated WITec TrueMatch Raman database software. This integration of a particle analysis tool with a Raman database is unique in the industry and offers a streamlined experimental environment to boost productivity. Finally, ParticleScout generates a comprehensive report that features user-selectable combinations of filters and advanced algorithms to show the quantities of selected particles and their prevalence relative to other groups. These reports make ParticleScout the perfect tool for finding correlations between the physical and chemical attributes of particles.

From large-area imaging to high-resolution spectroscopy, the technology underlying ParticleScout provides thorough and detailed insight to the researcher in microplastics research, environmental science, pharmaceutical research, geology, food science and many other fields.

“ParticleScout expands our product range into an area that is currently experiencing an enormous boom due to the public debate on microplastics in the environment. Raman spectroscopy is an extremely powerful tool for the rapid identification of these sorts of harmful particles," explains Dr. Joachim Koenen, WITec co-founder and managing director. "In addition, ParticleScout provides an unprecedented level of speed and ease of use in particle analysis with Raman microscopy. With ParticleScout, a time-consuming sequence of individual steps has been transformed into a flowing, continuous and fast process," Koenen continues.

More resources:

Product page on ParticleScout>>>

High resolution print-optimized product Image>>>

ParticleScout, a revolutionary particle analysis tool for the alpha300 Raman microscope series.

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February 2019

WITec Now Operating Directly in France

WITec GmbH, leading manufacturer of 3D Raman imaging, correlative and other nano-analytical microscopy systems, has established a new direct representation in France. Located in Lyon, known as a center of the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, the new national presence will allow WITec to better serve the local client base. Sales, after-sales support and event organization for the region will be undertaken by area manager Dr. Philippe Ayasse. Technical support will be provided by Dr. Maxime Tchaya, a scientist with a thorough knowledge of the French market, from company headquarters in Ulm, Germany. Both are specialists in confocal Raman microscopy with years of experience at WITec. The new representation can be reached at the following address:

WITec Representation France
Dr. Philippe Ayasse
11 quai Augagneur
69003 Lyon France
Tel: +33(0) 4 78 84 04 62
Mobile: +33 6 12 13 21 73
E-mail: philippe.ayasse@witec.de

Français:

WITec opère désormais directement sur la France

WITec GmbH, fabricant leader de l’imagerie 3D Raman, de systèmes de microscopie corrélative et autres systèmes de microscopie nano-analytique, a établi une présence directe en France. Basée à Lyon, réputée comme centre d’excellence des industries chimique, pharmaceutique et biotechnologique, cette présence directe permettra à WITec de mieux supporter la clientèle nationale déjà bien établie. Les ventes, le support après-vente et l’expertise analytique ainsi que l’organisation du marketing domestique seront assurées par le Directeur Régional Dr .Philippe Ayasse. Dr. Maxime Tchaya, basé à Ulm- Allemagne au siège mondial de la société, scientifique possédant déjà une connaissance approfondie du marché Francais assurera l’expertise analytique et technique. Tous deux sont des spécialistes de la microscopie confocale Raman et possèdent des années d’expérience avec WITec.

La nouvelle représentation peut etre contactée à l’adresse suivante :

Représentation WITec France
Dr. Philippe Ayasse
11, quai Victor Augagneur
69003 Lyon Cedex France
Tel : +33(0) 4 78 84 04 62
Portable : +33(0) 6 12 13 21 73
philippe.ayasse@witec.de 

New WITec area manager France Dr. Philippe Ayasse

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