Agilent Technologies acquires AFM maker
Agilent Technologies Inc., the Palo Alto, Calif.-based test and measurement company, has become a player in the atomic force microscope market by acquiring Molecular Imaging Corp. of Tempe, Ariz.
The acquisition is expected to substantially increase the exposure of the Molecular Imaging AFM product line, according to company executives. In turn, said Vance Nau, president and CEO of Molecular Imaging, it will help his 40 staff members focus on their core tasks.
The company’s lead AFM product line is known as the PicoPlus family. The modular, high-resolution AFMs are used for imaging in fluids as well as ambient and controlled conditions. Current customers are mostly in drug discovery, life science, electrochemistry, materials science and polymer science.
Executives said the companies would seek to improve the capabilities of the product and simplify operations in order to address larger markets in the future. Long-term goals include creating a device that could be operated by a technician rather than a doctorate-level scientist, as well as developing application-specific units for uses like defect control in inline manufacturing.
Bob Burns, general manager of Agilent’s Nano Measurements Division, said Agilent would keep the Molecular Imaging team in Tempe because the company has strong ties with Arizona State University. Molecular Imaging was founded in 1993 by Stuart Lindsay and Tianwei Jing of Arizona State.
- David Forman
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