July 2020

Graphene fine structures visualized by high-resolution confocal Raman imaging

Raman imaging is a non-destructive tool for evaluating the quality of 2D materials as strain, doping, defects and layer number can be assessed. These two large-area Raman images visualize defect density (top) and strain fields (bottom) in a CVD-grown graphene flake at high spatial resolution (100 nm per pixel). They were acquired using the fully automated Raman microscope alpha300 apyron equipped with a 532 nm laser for excitation and TrueSurface for focus stabilization.

The upper Raman image is color-coded according to the intensity of the D-band in the recorded Raman spectra. It visualizes crystal defects, as the D-band intensity depends on the defect density in the carbon lattice. The observed width of the fine structures is very close to the diffraction limited lateral resolution achievable with 532 nm excitation, demonstrating the microscope’s high performance.

The lower Raman image is color-coded according to the peak position of the 2D-band, which was quantified by a Pseudo-Voigt fit. The image visualizes local strain/doping effects, as the frequency of the 2D-band is influenced by local strain and, to a lesser extent, by doping.

These examples offer conclusive proof that with an advanced and highly sensitive system, Raman imaging alone can provide access to the finest details of graphene crystal properties.

High-resolution Raman imaging of CVD-grown graphene (100 nm per pixel). Top: Raman image representing the intensity of the D-band, visualizing crystal defects. Bottom: Raman image representing the frequency of the 2D-band, visualizing local strain/doping effects.


July 2020

ParticleScout is a contender for the Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021

We’re thrilled to share that ParticleScout, our automated microparticle analysis tool, has been chosen as a finalist for the 2021 Wiley Analytical Science Award!

This distinction from a neutral jury of researchers and industry representatives includes ParticleScout among six nominated products in the “Spectroscopy & Microscopy” category. Now, the readers of “GIT Labor-Fachzeitschrift”, “Imaging & Microscopy” and all users of the Wiley Analytical Science Portal can vote for their favorite product on the following page:

Voting is possible from July 1st until August 28th. Wish us luck, or even better, voice your support for ParticleScout, the revolutionary tool that uses Raman spectroscopy to characterize microparticles, including microplastics in the environment.


July 2020

Researchers in India use a WITec Raman microscope to detect RNA viruses

A paper just published in the Journal of Biophotonics describes how Raman spectoscopy can enable the detection of RNA viruses in human saliva. Dr. Amit Dutt's group at the Tata Memorial Centre, based in Mumbai, obtained raw data with a WITec Raman microscope and carried out statistical analysis to find a set of 65 Raman spectral features that positively identified the presence or absence of viruses in a sample.

The analysis could be performed in less than a minute without adding a reagent to increase the signal. Their signal set was able to achieve 92.5% sensitivity and 88.8% specificity.  

“This conceptual framework to detect RNA viruses in saliva could form the basis for field application of Raman Spectroscopy in managing viral outbreaks, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said the researchers.

Scientists in the research group of Dr. Amit Dutt, who used Raman microscopy to detect RNA viruses in human saliva samples.


June 2020

WITec Begins Expansion of its Headquarters Facility

Increased capacity required to meet growing demand for Raman imaging microscopes

Ulm, Germany  
June 10th, 2020

WITec GmbH, the technology leader in correlative Raman microscopy, is expanding its headquarters building in Ulm.

The new addition will offer more space for production and quality assurance, laboratories for development and customer demonstrations or sample measurements, larger conference rooms and greater logistical capability. When complete, the new addition will double the amount of space available at WITec’s core location. 

“It was time to expand,” says Joachim Koenen, Co-founder and Managing Director of WITec. “We made advanced Raman imaging much more accessible by simplifying operation through our user-interface and extensive automation. The scientific community and marketplace have reacted very positively to these developments. As more researchers put our instruments in their labs, the word got out, and now we need the increased production capacity.”

WITec’s current headquarters was completed in 2009. Its design reflects the modularity and versatility of the scientific instruments produced within. An open and light-filled interior provides an environment for employees that is conducive to the exchange of ideas. Research and development, sales, applications, production, marketing, administration, technical service and logistics teams all work together hand-in-hand. This greatly contributes to WITec’s vaunted technological agility and preserves its innovative spirit.

As described by Olaf Hollricher, Co-founder and Managing Director of R&D at WITec, “Our headquarters was purpose-built to encourage cross-departmental interaction, from development through shipping, and it’s had a very positive effect on the dynamics and performance of our company. The new expansion will allow us to scale up while adhering to this concept.”

Construction of the new addition will continue through 2020 with an anticipated opening toward the end of 2021.

WITec GmbH’s headquarters building in Ulm, Germany. The highlighted structure shows the addition currently under construction.


June 2020



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April 2020

WITecが新世代alpha300 apyronを明かす - AutoBeam™ テクノジーを備えた自動ラマンイメージング顕微鏡


Ulm, Germany  
April 28th, 2020

ラマンイメージングと相関顕微鏡のパイオニアであるWITec GmbHは、新しい alpha300 apyron の発表により、自動化と利便性の新しいレベルを確立しました。AutoBeam™ テクノロジーは、WITec の業界をリードする alpha300 seriesの性能を最大限に引き出します。alpha300 apyron の完全に新しい光学、分析、リモート操作機能は、速度・感度・解像度において、これまでで最も大きな進歩を遂げました。

alpha300 apyron は、自己調整と自己校正が可能であり、ユーザーの手入力による実験作業を大幅に削減し、再現性の拡張と潜在的なエラーの原因の最小化を実現します。これを可能にしているのが、WITecの AutoBeam™ 光学機械コンポーネンツで、すべての調査に対して最適な実験を構築・セットアップできる、新しく、幅広い用途のツールキットです。

AutoBeam™ モジュールにより提供される新しい機能として、モーター駆動の偏光子とアナライザーローテーションでの偏光依存測定、オートメーションでの分光計接続およびシグナルの最大化、アイリス絞りの自動調整などがあります。ソフトウェアによる自動化はまた、グローブボックスのような閉鎖された環境や全く別の場所からでも、alpha300 apyron の完全な遠隔操作を可能にします。

WITec の共同創業者・マネージングディレクターの Olaf Hollricher (オラフ・ホリヒャー) は、「 AutoBeam™ ツールキットを備えた alpha300 apyron はラマンイメージングのプロセスの完全自動化への努力の集大成である。自宅からでもリモートコントロールや全ての測定への自己最適化が可能であり、研究者は常に最良の結果を得ることができる。」と述べています。

UV-VISやNIRといった多種多様な励起波長に対応するため、alpha300 apyron 顕微鏡は、3つまでの超高スループットWITec UHTS分光器と関連する範囲の検出器の装備が可能です。ラマンイメージングおよび相関測定は、WITecのSuite FIVEソフトウェアおよび直観的なハンドヘルドコントローラー:EasyLink で定義、実行、保存、評価されます。

WITecは第一世代の apyron よりラマンイメージングの自動化を開始しました。その高度な技術はスパイラル開発の段階で alpha300 の製品群にも導入されました。新たに統合された alpha300シリーズはエントリーレベルの access からフラッグシップの apyron までの連続した範囲の製品群になっています。それらすべては同様に確固たる安定性、ファイバーベースの柔軟性および統合ソフトウェア環境を共有しています。

WITec の共同創業者・マネージングディレクターの Joachim Koenen (ヨハヒム・コーネン)は、「apyron の多くの最先端自動化機能は、過去5年間に渡り、alpha300の顕微鏡シリーズに採用されてきました。 新しい光学機能とハードウェアを開発するにつれ、それらは共通の標準機能として構築されるようになりました。今日では誰もが、自身の特定の研究への要求をそれが進捗するとしても満たせるように、accessapyron あるいはその間の何らかのシステムを構築できます。」と語っています。

alpha300 apyron の利便性により、初心者から上級者までの様々な応用分野のどの研究者にも高度な共焦点ラマンイメージングが可能になります。 材料科学、環境科学、微粒子分析、生命科学、食品科学、地質学、薬学およびその他の多くの分野でご活躍の科学者は、一貫して最適化されたパフォーマンスを提供する自動アライメントルーチンの恩恵を受けることができます。alpha300 apyron は、実験のセットアップとその後の測定ワークフローの両方を高速化します。

新しい alpha300 apyron に関する詳細な情報は、下記リンクでご覧いただけます。


第2世代の WITecの alpha300 apyronは、更なる自動化とより充実した光学機能を提供します


April 2020


毎年行われるWITecペーパーアワード(WITec Paper Award)は、WITec顕微鏡を使用し取得した特徴的な研究データについて、特に優秀と認められる査読付き 論文3件を表彰しています。本年度は、過去最高記録113件のご応募がありました。ほんの一例を挙げますと、半導体研究、電気化学、癌研究、地質学、マイクロプラスチックの研究など、種々の分野で多様なニーズに対しラマンイメージングが有用であることを確認しています WITecは、ご応募くださった研究者の皆様に心より感謝申し上げます。本年度のアワードは、電気化学、生物医学、高分子科学の分野において優れたな研究内容と手法が評価された日本、ポーランド、オーストリアの其々の研究者に授与されました。

  • GOLD: Ankur Baliyan and Hideto Imai (2019) Machine Learning based Analytical Framework for Automatic Hyperspectral Raman Analysis of Lithium-ion Battery Electrodes. Scientific Reports 9: 18241.
  • SILVER: Ewelina Wiercigroch, Elzbieta Stepula, Lukasz Mateuszuk, Yuying Zhang, Malgorzata Baranska, Stefan Chlopicki, Sebastian Schlücker and Kamilla Malek (2019) ImmunoSERS Microscopy for the Detection of Smooth Muscle Cells in Atherosclerotic Plaques. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 133: 79-85.
  • BRONZE: Ruth Schmidt, Harald Fitzek, Manfred Nachtnebel, Claudia Mayrhofer, Hartmuth Schröttner and Armin Zankel (2019) The Combination of Electron Microscopy, Raman Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy for the Investigation of Polymeric Materials. Macromolecular Symposia 384: 1800237.

 For a list of all previous Paper Award winners, please visit

The Paper Award GOLD: Automated quality control of lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) provide the power for most electric devices that we use every day, such as cell phones, tablets and laptops. Their development was honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year. Automated real-time quality control of LIB materials is necessary for industrial research and production. Ankur Baliyan and Hideto Imai from Nissan Arc. (Yokosuka, Japan) win the Gold Paper Award 2020 for their machine learning-based approach to analyzing Raman data of LIBs. Raman images of LIB cathodes can visualize the spatial distribution of the active cathode material (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide, abbreviated as LiMO2) and the surrounding carbon matrix. In order to automate and accelerate the process of identifying the spectral signatures in Raman datasets, the authors developed a machine learning-based analytical framework. It starts by automatically pre-processing the Raman data to remove the baseline and cosmic rays. Next, algorithms determine the number of components, extract the corresponding spectral signatures, and identify them. The spectra are finally used to train a neural network, which can then automatically analyze Raman data from the same or a different LIB sample. The authors demonstrated that data analysis by the trained neural network yielded results consistent with results from an experienced user. However, the algorithm found two minor signatures in addition to the main components of carbon and LiMO2 that corresponded to a residual background signal and one of the main components exhibiting increased fluorescence signals. The presented approach requires very little user input and is thus suitable for real-time quality control using Raman data from lithium-ion batteries and other applications.

The Paper Award SILVER: Characterizing atherosclerotic plaques with iSERS microscopy

“Atherosclerosis is one of the major causes of death worldwide. Understanding the mechanism of its formation still remains a great challenge in medicine. Powerful techniques for monitoring the composition and stability of atherosclerotic plaques are thus needed,” says Ewelina Wiercigroch from Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland), winner of the Silver Paper Award 2020. Atherosclerotic plaques form at arterial walls and narrow the blood vessels. Monitoring the stability of the plaques is of clinical relevance because their rupture can result in a stroke or heart attack. As smooth muscle cells (SMCs) play a key role in stabilizing the plaques, their presence can serve as a marker for plaque stability. Ewelina Wiercigroch, Elzbieta Stepula, Lukasz Mateuszuk, Yuying Zhang, Malgorzata Baranska, Stefan Chlopicki, Sebastian Schlücker and Kamilla Malek from Jagiellonian University and the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) demonstrated the suitability of immuno surface-enhanced Raman scattering (iSERS) microscopy for staining SMCs in atherosclerotic plaques. SERS labels were conjugated either with a primary antibody directed against α-actin of SMCs (direct iSERS) or with an appropriate secondary antibody (indirect iSERS). The iSERS images of mouse artery sections visualized regions containing SMCs and cluster analysis allowed the quantification of the percentage of SMCs located in the plaques. Results from iSERS staining agreed qualitatively and quantitatively with those from immunofluorescence (IF) staining. IF is the current gold standard in visualizing atherosclerotic constituents, but iSERS offers some advantages, such as higher photostability. The study thus establishes iSERS as a promising technique for visualizing and quantifying SMCs in atherosclerotic plaques.

The Paper Award BRONZE: Correlative Raman imaging of polymeric materials

Ruth Schmidt from Graz University of Technology (Graz, Austria) receives the Bronze Paper Award 2020, together with her colleagues Harald Fitzek, Manfred Nachtnebel, Claudia Mayrhofer, Hartmuth Schröttner and Armin Zankel. The group demonstrated the potential of correlative Raman Imaging and Scanning Electron (RISE) microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDXS) for investigating polymers. Polymeric materials are popular in many applications due to their wide variety of useful properties, such as high elasticity or toughness. For characterizing their properties, the advantages of three imaging techniques were combined. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) acquired high-resolution structural information, while Raman imaging revealed the chemical composition and was complemented by elemental information from EDXS. The publication provides a detailed methodology chapter which describes different sample preparation approaches and imaging modes. For example, it explains strategies for SEM imaging without coating the sample, which would hinder subsequent Raman imaging. Three polymer specimens were investigated with RISE and EDXS, yielding complementary information from the same sample region. Coarse and fine structures of the samples were correlated with chemical properties and the layer structure of packaging materials was visualized. Particulate additives in a polymer matrix were identified and their size distribution was investigated. The authors stressed that combined SEM, Raman imaging and EDXS offers great possibilities for analyzing polymeric materials.

2021年度 WITecペーパーアワード  応募受付中



The winners of the WITec Paper Award 2020. Top: Gold winners Ankur Baliyan (middle) and Hideto Imai (right) together with WITec K.K. representative director Michael Verst (left). Middle: Silver winner Ewelina Wiercigroch (middle) and her co-authors (clockwise, beginning top left): Elzbieta Stepula, Yuying Zhang, Lukasz Mateuszuk, Kamilla Malek, Sebastian Schlücker, Malgorzata Baranska and Stefan Chlopicki. (© E. Wiercigroch) Bottom: Bronze winner Ruth Schmidt (middle) and her co-authors from left to right: Armin Zankel, Claudia Mayrhofer and Hartmuth Schröttner (top row); Manfred Nachtnebel and Harald Fitzek (bottom row). (© FELMI-ZFE)


March 2020

Application Note on Raman Imaging of Semiconducting Materials

WITec has released a new Application Note that features measurements of semiconducting materials using 2D and 3D Raman imaging in combination with other techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and second or third harmonic generation (SHG, THG) microscopy. See how correlative techniques can characterize crystallinity, topography, stress fields and other properties on materials such as silicon, gallium nitride and molybdenum disulfide.


February 2020

WITec Japan Opens New Office in Yokohama





WITec 株式会社 
〒231-0032 神奈川県横浜市中区不老町1-1-5
横浜東芝ビル 8F

JR関内駅 南口徒歩2分



February 2020

Physics World Interview with WITec Co-Founder

Physics World Magazine conducted a wide-ranging interview with WITec Co-founder and Director of Research and Development, Olaf Hollricher, in the days leading up to the MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit at the end of last year.

The article, Confocal Raman microscopy: correlate and accumulate, highlights the versatility of the technique and the modular architecture of WITec’s microscopes. It describes how Raman imaging can be integrated with other methods within one instrument to provide a more comprehensive picture of a sample’s chemical composition and distribution. The potential of this approach, known as correlative microscopy, and the growing demand for it in the marketplace are examined. Dr. Hollricher also discusses the seemingly contradictory challenges that have been overcome in pursuit of both capability and accessibility. Two of WITec’s standout innovations, TrueSurface topographic Raman imaging, and the ParticleScout microparticle analysis tool are detailed as well.

Download the .pdf of the interview or read it on the Physics World website through the link below.


January 2020

ParticleScout Nominated for SelectScience Scientists' Choice Award

WITec's ParticleScout has been nominated for a SelectScience Scientists' Choice Award in the category of Best New Spectroscopy Product. We're very excited to be in the competition and thankful to our customers around the world for their enthusiasm.

The Scientists' Choice Awards are presented annually to recognize the laboratory products introduced in the preceding year that helped researchers the most in the course of their work. Scientists themselves directly nominate, review, and vote for the winners.

WITec's ParticleScout is an automated microparticle anaylsis tool for the alpha300 line of confocal Raman microscopes that can find, classify and identify microplastics and other particles with industry-leading speed and precision. If you'd like to voice your support for this revolutionary and timely technology, please vote through the link below. All participants are entered into a drawing for the chance to win a $500/£400/450€ Amazon Gift Card. Voting ends February 21st.

Vote here:


January 2020

WITec Consolidates Sales, Applications and Technical Support for French Market

WITec GmbH, industry-leading manufacturer of 3D confocal Raman imaging and correlative microscopy systems, has updated its organizational structure in France to streamline communication and better leverage in-house technical expertise.

Dr. Maxime Tchaya, a longtime member of the WITec team, will manage the French market directly. His responsibilities include all sales activities and the coordination of technical support, equipment demonstrations and sample measurements.

Dr. Tchaya is native French speaker who began with WITec as an applications scientist before bringing his thorough, practical knowledge of WITec microscopes to the sales department. This experience will enable him to precisely address the requirements of the local client base while providing them with a direct conduit to WITec’s research and development group.

WITec renforce son service commercial et technique sur le marché français

WITec GmbH, leader de la microscopie confocale Raman 3D et fabriquant de plateformes de microscopie corrélative, renforce son organisation en France.

Dr. Maxime Tchaya, membre de longue date de l'équipe WITec, prend la responsabilité de la commercialisation et du support des solutions WITec en France. 

Sa longue expérience au sein de l’équipe d’application, et son excellente connaissance du marché français, sont autant d’atouts qui lui permettront de répondre avec précision et efficacité aux besoins de la clientèle, tout en la rapprochant davantage de l’équipe R&D pour les demandes spécifiques.


Dr. Maxime Tchaya
Area Manager France - Canada - Poland
Lise-Meitner-Str. 6
89081 Ulm, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 731 140700





Dr. Maxime Tchaya. New Area Manager France, Canada and Poland