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June 2021

WITec GmbH joins Oxford Instruments plc

The management team of WITec GmbH is proud to announce that WITec was acquired by Oxford Instruments plc, a UK based company that has a great reputation in the scientific community, and in the future will be part of their Materials Analysis Group. WITec’s founders Dr. Joachim Koenen and Dr. Olaf Hollricher will continue as Managing Directors and the well-established WITec brand will be retained in the new organizational structure.

Founded in 1997, WITec grew from a small university spin-off into the most innovative Raman imaging company. It made exceptional progress in developing microscopy technology and installed more than a thousand Raman, AFM and SNOM systems worldwide.

“We look back on a 24-year track record of making WITec a prosperous and most innovative Raman imaging company. Now that we are joining the Oxford Instruments Group, we look forward to continuing this success together with a strong partner to grow even faster and to use existing synergies to further expand our reach into the range of markets that will benefit from our wide product portfolio,” Koenen said.

“WITec developed ground-breaking solutions in confocal Raman microscopy and correlative Raman microscopy. Oxford Instruments’ key technologies in AFM and scientific spectroscopic cameras with the brands Asylum and Andor puts WITec in an even better position for future developments,” Hollricher added.

Ian Barkshire, Chief Executive, Oxford Instruments said, “We are delighted to welcome WITec colleagues to Oxford Instruments. WITec’s leading Raman microscopy solutions are a great complement to our existing products and techniques. Raman microscopy is an important and widely used technique across academic and commercial customers for fundamental research, applied R&D and QA/QC. The technique is used in conjunction with and alongside our existing characterization solutions and broadens the capabilities that we can bring to existing customers and expands opportunities into new market areas. Providing a broader range of solutions helps us support our customers in facilitating a greener economy, increasing connectivity, improving health and achieving leaps in scientific understanding.”

Ian Wilcock, Managing Director of Oxford Instruments Nanoanalysis and Magnetic Resonance added, “We look forward to working with our new colleagues at WITec to develop new routes to market for their products. WITec’s RISE Raman for SEM product, for example, will ideally complement our own extensive suite of analyzers for electron microscopes.”

WITec will, of course, fulfill its obligations toward existing customers and business partners in the usual manner and the management team will work to make the transition as smooth as possible.

See the official press release from Oxford Instruments here.


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The companies’ representatives following the official announcement at WITec Headquarters in Ulm, Germany. From left to right: Joachim Koenen (Managing Director at WITec), Alexandra Lipes (HR Generalist at Oxford Instruments), Dirk Keune (Managing Director Germany and Director Sales EMEAI at Oxford Instruments) and Olaf Hollricher (Managing Director at WITec).


June 2021

Observing polymerization reactions with Raman microscopy

Polymerization reactions are involved in many industrial processes and also occur in everyday tasks, for example during the hardening of glues and drying of paints and varnishes. In order to optimize their products, manufacturers require analytical methods for monitoring polymerization reactions and evaluating the influence of chemical modifications or additives such as catalysts. Here we use Raman imaging for monitoring the polymerization of an air-drying alkyd resin varnish. Such products are commonly used for protective coating of wood and other materials.

The liquid sample was applied to a microscope slide and the polymerization progress was characterized as a function of depth and time using a WITec alpha300 Raman microscope. To this end, an initial depth scan through the entire coating layer was recorded, followed by one per hour at the same sample position for a total of 25. Due to the system’s automated components, no user interaction was required during the entire investigation time of 24 hours. Each of the presented Raman images covers an area of 25 x 31 µm² and consists of 3900 spectra recorded in about 8 minutes.

First, all images were analyzed with the TrueComponent Analysis feature of the WITec Project software. Three components were identified by their Raman spectra and attributed to the liquid varnish, the polymerized product and the glass substrate. The image series clearly shows that the hardening process began at the interface between the air and the varnish and progressed through the sample over time (Fig. A and video). After 24 hours, the sample was almost completely hardened. A small stretch of unpolymerized sample was still present at the glass interface after 24 hours, but was no longer detectable when the sample was re-measured a few weeks later.

The spectra of liquid and solid varnish differed mainly in the intensity of the C=C stretching mode at 1654 cm-1 wavenumbers (Fig. B). As the C=C double bonds react during the polymerization, this peak’s intensity is drastically reduced in the Raman spectrum of the product. This enabled an even more detailed monitoring of the polymerization reaction. While the C=C stretching mode was decreased during the reaction, the C-H stretching mode (ca. 3072 cm-1) stayed almost constant. The ratio of these two peaks thus served as a measure for the polymerization progress. It was quantified for each pixel by peak fitting and the mean of each image line was plotted over the sample depth and the observation time (Fig. C). The graph illustrates in detail how the polymerization progresses over time into the deeper layers of the varnish.

For more examples for Raman imaging of polymers, visit our applications section about polymers or download our Application Note about polymeric materials.

Alkydharz WebNews

Polymerization reaction of an alkyd resin varnish monitored over 24 hours. 2D Raman depth scans at different times after the reaction start (A), color coded according to the Raman spectra (B) of liquid varnish (red), polymerized product (blue) and glass substrate (green). Polymerization progress versus depth and time (C). See text for more details.


May 2021

2021年度 WITec Paper Award 優秀3論文を選出

Ulm, Germany  
May 6, 2021

毎年行われるWITecペーパーアワード(WITec Paper Award)は、WITecの顕微鏡で得られ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、質の高い115件の応募があり、3名の受賞者だけを選ぶことは特に困難でした。受賞は、ゼブラフィッシュの胚、隕石、ジェットエンジンの遮熱コーティングの分野において、それぞれラマンイメージングを用いて研究内容と手法が評価され、英国、トルコ、米国の研究者に授与されます。WITecは、受賞者を祝福し、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

GOLD: H. Høgset, C. C. Horgan, J. P. K. Armstrong, M. S. Bergholt, V. Torraca, Q. Chen, T. J. Keane, L. Bugeon, M. J. Dallman, S. Mostowy, M. M. Stevens (2020) In vivo biomolecular imaging of zebrafish embryos using confocal Raman spectroscopy. Nature Communications 11: 6172 www.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19827-1

SILVER: M. Yesiltas, M. Kaya, T. D. Glotch, R. Brunetto, A. Maturilli, J. Helbert, M. E. Özel (2020) Biconical reflectance, micro-Raman, and nano-FTIR spectroscopy of the Didim (H3-5) meteorite: Chemical content and molecular variations. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 55: 2404-2421 www.doi.org/10.1111/maps.13585

BRONZE: C. Barrett, Z. Stein, J. Hernandez, R. Naraparaju, U. Schulz, L. Tetard, S. Raghavan (2021) Detrimental effects of sand ingression in jet engine ceramic coatings captured with Raman-based 3D rendering. Journal of the European Ceramic Society 41: 1664-1671 (available online 2020) www.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.09.050


The Paper Award GOLD: Raman imaging of zebrafish embryos

Zebrafish are well-established model organisms in the life sciences and are frequently used for studying embryonic development and various diseases. Håkon Høgset from Imperial College London (ICL), UK, receives the Gold Paper Award 2021 for demonstrating the versatility of confocal Raman imaging for the biomolecular characterization of zebrafish embryos. Together with his co-workers from ICL and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, he established that the distribution of various biomolecules such as lipids and proteins can be visualized in an embryo on different length scales. First, 3D Raman images of entire, several-millimeter-long zebrafish embryos demonstrated Raman imaging of an entire organism. Second, high-resolution Raman imaging revealed microscale features of tissue sections from dorsal muscle, tail and gut. Raman imaging was next used to detect clusters of mycobacterial infection in a zebrafish model for tuberculosis. Based on metabolic differences, Raman spectroscopy could even distinguish between infections arising from different strains. Lastly, time-lapse Raman imaging monitored molecular changes during wound response in living embryos over several hours. The authors expect that, “the ability to perform volumetric and in vivo imaging in unlabeled embryos should provide a host of new opportunities for zebrafish research that can readily complement existing fluorescence imaging techniques.”

The Paper Award SILVER: Chemical characterization of meteorites

From the chemical composition of meteorites, planetary scientists can learn a great deal about their parent bodies’ history. “Studying meteorites and their parent bodies helps us understand how our solar system formed and evolved,” says Mehmet Yesiltas from Kirklareli University, Turkey, winner of the Silver Paper Award 2021. His publication presents a detailed chemical analysis of the Didim meteorite, which he investigated together with his colleagues from research institutions in Turkey, the USA, France and Germany. The Didim meteorite (named after Didim, Turkey, where it fell in 2007) is a chondrite with a relatively rare and varied mineralogical composition, making it especially interesting. The authors investigated its chemical composition on different scales using three spectroscopic methods. Biconical reflectance spectroscopy was used for an initial large-scale assessment and revealed mainly anhydrous silicates. Raman imaging then allowed for a more precise characterization of the rock’s minerals, including feldspars, olivine and pyroxene, and their distributions on the micrometer scale. Also, aromatic hydrocarbons of different thermal metamorphic grades were shown to exist in close proximity within the meteorite. Non-destructive 3D Raman imaging showed that the carbonaceous matter was present beneath an olivine grain inside the meteorite, suggesting its extraterrestrial origin. Furthermore, nano-FTIR spectroscopy indicated that the mineralogical composition of the rock varied even on the sub-micrometer scale.

The Paper Award BRONZE: Thermochemical degradation of ceramic coatings

Jet engines are protected against their extremely high operating temperatures by thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). Ingression of molten calcium, magnesium and alumino-silicates (CMAS) into a TBC during flight causes severe damage to it and shortens the engine’s lifetime. Chance Barrett from the University of Central Florida (UCF), USA, wins the Bronze Paper Award 2021 for presenting 3D Raman imaging as a non-destructive method for analyzing the CMAS-induced degradation of TBCs, together with his co-workers from UCF and the German Aerospace Center. CMAS ingression causes a transition of the TBC to the monoclinic phase. The volume fraction of this phase therefore represents a measure of the degree of degradation and it can be quantified with Raman imaging. 3D Raman maps of TBCs visualized the degradation as a function of depth. The damage was less pronounced in the core of the columns that form the TBC than at their edges, because the gaps between the columns were more accessible. Additionally, time-dependent measurements showed that most of the damage occurred during the first hour of CMAS infiltration. The results were validated by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. To the authors’ knowledge, their study is the first to present a non-destructive 3D characterization of TBC degradation at high resolution. They postulate that, “This ability to quantitatively and non-destructively characterize degradation of CMAS infiltrated TBCs will accelerate development of degradation resistant coatings.”



WITecは、すべてのアプリケーション分野の科学者をペーパーアワード2022に招待しています。応募論文は、2021年に査読付きジャーナルに掲載され、WITecの機器で(少なくとも部分的に)得られた結果を取得している場合にご応募可能です。 2022年1月31日までに、PDF形式でpapers@witec.deに論文を提出してください。WITecは、来年も多くの優れた論文をを楽しみにしています。詳細はこちらのリンクから www.witec.de/paper-award ご確認ください。

WITec PaperAward 2021 allWinners web

The winners of the WITec Paper Award 2021. From top to bottom: The Gold (© Håkon Høgset, Hybrid Technology Hub at the University of Oslo, Norway), Silver (© Mehmet Yesiltas, Kirklareli University, Turkey) and Bronze winning teams. High-resolution pictures and more detailed image descriptions can be downloaded below.


April 2021

Imaging Enhanced: Today´s Raman Microscopy Applications

We're hosting a half-day virtual symposium in cooperation with Spectroscopy Online that will take place on May 19th at 1 p.m. EDT. 

This event will feature scientific talks from researchers in academia and industry. Exciting and resonant topics of presentations will include microplastics, 2D materials, human health, biology, geoscience and electrochemistry. The theoretical foundations of Raman imaging will also be covered and the considerations involved in achieving the very highest spectral and spatial resolution will be detailed. 

The first session is titled: Raman Imaging and its Potential in Earth & Life Sciences, while the second is: Raman Imaging for Comprehensive Materials Research. Question and answer forums will follow each session.

We cordially invite you to visit the conference page to view the full program and to register:


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February 2021


Ulm, Germany  
February 1, 2021

Partical Scoutに、微粒子毎のラマン測定のS/N比を利用し積算時間を最適にする機能が追加されました。これにより、測定時間が大幅に短縮されるだけでなく、蛍光の影響も最小限に抑えられるようになりました。

「最初にリリースされたParticleScoutは、一般的な要求に答えるべく、ラマン分光法をコアとした微粒子評価システムとして構築されたものでした。」と、WITecのマーケティングディレクターのHarald Fischerは述べています。「新バージョンでは、環境、食品、薬剤、およびその他多くのアプリケーション分野の研究者からの意見と要望を直接的に反映させています。」






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ParticleScout's new integration time optimization feature: Time saving and efficient


December 2020

alpha300 apyron nominated for Best New Spectroscopy Product of 2020

WITec’s alpha300 apyron fully automated Raman microscope has been recognized by the SelectScience Scientists’ Choice Awards with a nomination in the category of “Best New Spectroscopy Product of 2020”. We’re very grateful to be in the running for this award, and sincerely appreciate the support that our customers have expressed for our most advanced microscope ever.

The Scientists’ Choice Awards are an industry-wide competition held every year to highlight the new laboratory products that have been most useful to scientists in their work. The researchers themselves directly nominate, review, and vote for the winners.

The alpha300 apyron brings a new level of automation to correlative Raman imaging microscopy by featuring self-optimization and remote operation capabilities. Its software-driven motorized components accelerate experimental setup while reducing user workload and researchers working from home or using environmental enclosures such as glove boxes can acquire data with the click of a mouse.

Vote here for the alpha300 apyron and you could win a $500/£400/450€ Amazon Gift Card:


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December 2020

WITec supports Albert Einstein Discovery Center with 5,000 Euros

This year, instead of sending Christmas presents to its customers, WITec GmbH is donating 5,000 Euros to the Albert Einstein Discovery Center Association. "As a manufacturer of microscopy systems from Ulm, and through our close connection to physics, it is especially important to us to help make the Albert Einstein Discovery Center a reality," emphasized Dr. Olaf Hollricher, co-founder and head of research and development at WITec. The donation was presented at WITec headquarters in Ulm’s Science Park by Dr. Hollricher and Dr. Joachim Koenen to Dr. Nancy Hecker-Denschlag, Chairwoman of the Albert Einstein Discovery Center Association. Dr. Hollricher added, "I think it’s a good and important effort to create a place that honors this monumental physicist and provides an opportunity to experience his work in the place of his birth."

The Science City of Ulm should live up to its name. Until now, there hasn’t been a scientific museum that illustrates the revolutionary ideas of Albert Einstein, the world's most famous and renowned son of the city of Ulm. The future experience and discovery center will both tell the story of Albert Einstein's life and present his theories and research results. "We need to take advantage of the momentum that now exists and move forward to build this museum soon," explains Dr. Olaf Hollricher. Dr. Nancy Hecker-Denschlag, Chairwoman of the Albert Einstein Discovery Center Association, expressed her happiness with the response, "It's great that so many successful companies from Ulm are participating in the project. So we're all pulling in the same direction, because we're not just doing something for Ulm, we want to create a center of global interest." Those who wish to join the association can already benefit from the lectures and roundtable discussions it hosts and will also soon be able to take part in excursions that cater to the scientific interests of its members.

Albert Einstein Discovery Center home page:

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(Left to Right) Dr. Joachim Koenen, Dr. Olaf Hollricher and Dr. Nancy Hecker-Denschlag


December 2020




  キックオフミーティングでは、亀田准教授より、「世界中の海水サンプルの監視や水道水、廃水等の分析などの環境中のマイクロプラスチックを調査するプロジェクトが進行中であり、今後も複数のプロジェクトの計画があります。日本では、これらのプロジェクトでは、20 µmを超えるサイズの粒子に焦点を当てています。さらに小さなマイクロプラスチックでも信頼できる分析方法を利用できるようになることは、我々の研究において大きな前進となるでしょう。また、大気中に浮遊するマイクロプラスチックの実態を把握する方法を確立したいと考えています。私たちが毎日呼吸する空気によって、かなりの量のマイクロプラスチックを私たちの体は取り込んでおり、特に微小な粒子は、健康に非常に有害であると考えられています。 WITecとの協力により、空気中の微小な粒子を識別し、定量化できる分析方法を確立する研究の機会が開かれます。」

 WITec Japanのディレクター ミヒャエル・フェルストは、次のように述べています。「WITecの最新の技術が、千葉工業大学に協力できることは大変光栄です。亀田准教授と彼のチームは、環境化学において優れた研究でよく知られており、マイクロプラスチックを調査するプロジェクトは、特に高く評価されています。 WITecの高性能技術と亀田准教授らのチームの知識と経験を組み合わせることで、私たちを取り巻く環境の現状について新たな洞察を得ることができると確信しています。正確で効率的な分析方法は、よりよい生態系モニタリングと私たちの生活環境や健康の改善につながることを願っています。」


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左: 亀田豊准教授 – 千葉工業大、右: ミヒャエル・フェルスト – WITec Japan


December 2020

WITec China moves into a new Beijing office

To keep pace with the rapid growth of the Chinese market for scientific instruments, WITec’s representative office in Beijing has moved to a larger space, now in the Air China Plaza Tower.

Our new location features a dedicated equipment demonstration laboratory where visitors can experience our latest technologies in person, and see the advantages they provide in action. Our Beijing team is also ready to receive visitors and offer consultations regarding the best instrument configuration for researchers’ individual requirements.

If you have any questions about our microscopes, or if you’re interested in having our applications scientists in China perform measurements on one of your samples, please contact us at the address below:

WITec Beijing Representative Office
Unit 1307A, Air China Plaza Tower 1, No. 36 Xiaoyun Road,
Chaoyang District, 100027, Beijing, China

+ 86 (0) 10 6590 0577

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November 2020

WITec が Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021 を受賞

ParticleScout recognized by readers as an outstanding innovation

Ulm, Germany
November 24th, 2020

WITec GmbH, innovator of Raman and correlative imaging microscopes, has received a Wiley Analytical Science Award 2021 for its ParticleScout automated particle analysis tool. ParticleScout won 2nd Place in the category: Spectroscopy and Microscopy.

This award celebrates outstanding innovation in equipment used for scientific analysis. A neutral jury of experts at Wiley created a shortlist from the full range of submissions, and then the readers of the print and digital editions of Wiley Analytical Science’s portfolio of journals voted for their favorites. The winners were announced during the Wiley Analytical Science Conference 2020.

“We’re very honored that ParticleScout has been recognized with this award, especially as it was chosen directly by Wiley’s readers,” said Harald Fischer, Marketing Director at WITec. “Being selected as a finalist and then supported by so many individuals I think reflects the strength of our technology, and also a wider awareness that precisely measuring microparticles and microplastics in our environment is an important and timely capability.”

ParticleScout is an advanced particle analysis tool that uses white light and Raman microscopy, a fast, label-free and non-destructive chemical characterization method, to find, classify, identify and quantify microparticles. It streamlines the entire microparticle analysis workflow, increasing the rate at which measurements can be performed and the number of particles that can be evaluated.

ParticleScout’s features include the ability to detect particles less than 1 µm in size, a variety of user-definable Boolean filters for particle categorization, and full integration with a Raman spectral database management software for sample component identification.

WITec ParticleScout product page:

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