NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Nanotronics Imaging Inc. has developed a computer-controlled microscope to offer nanoimaging solutions that the firm's leaders hope will have widespread application in the rubber industry.
The firm unveiled its nSPEC 3D microscope at the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference and Rubber Expo, held Oct. 14-16 in Nashville.
The conference also was a homecoming of sorts to the rubber industry for Matthew Putman, who serves as Nanotronics' CEO and is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his father John, the president and chief technology officer, who works out of the firm's Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, facility.
John Putman and his wife had founded rubber instrument firm Tech Pro Inc. in 1983 and sold it to the parent of Alpha Technologies in 2008.
“I hadn't been back to the rubber industry since we sold Tech Pro,” John said. “It was like coming back to a family reunion. We know 60-70 percent of the people here and I can't put it any other way but it's great to be home.”
Matthew and John founded Nanotronics Imaging in 2010 and its initial nSPEC microscope was marketed to the semiconductor business. The nSPEC 3D, though, was designed for sophisticated industrial use, the firm said, with the initial focus on uses in the rubber sector.
They said the new offering “combines high quality and imaging purity of optical lenses with advanced computer pattern recognition algorithms, custom 3D printed hardware and artificial intelligence to capture nanoscale 3D images, including quantitative results and structure classifications with a single mouse click or gesture.”
The nSPEC 3D initially was developed because of the inability to capture repeatable topography maps and to automatically interpret features in the 3D image. Nanotronics used what it called a convergence of imaging techniques, available hardware advances and the emergence of real time analysis to allow users “to capture and deliver nanoscale insights in a way that is accessible, understandable and actionable at the fraction of the cost compared to alternative technologies.”
Matthew said the price is comparable to a high-end optical microscope and much less than electron microscopes that currently are used for measuring nanoscales.