Our consultancy and prototyping services can help you achieve measurement instrumentation performance at unprecedented speeds and sensitivities, tailored to your needs and environments.
Solving Real World Problems
We take a collaborative approach within our consultancy to develop a comprehensive view of our clients’ goals and challenges.
With an understanding of your goals, environments, users and their expertise, we will work closely with you to develop solution ideas that can be challenged and refined. When prototyping, we work in short iterative cycles of build, test and review, to keep costs low and derive the most value for you from our time.
Working with us enables you to leverage 50+ years of experience in metrology, measurements and instrumentation development at the micro and nanoscale. Our goal is to support you with designs that both meet your measurement need and enable seamless integration into your users’ workflows. These designs can then be taken forward into production. Either following or as part of our initial engagement, we will provide support as needed for accessing follow-on funding, to enable your product to progress further along the TRL scale towards commercialisation.
High-bandwidth nano and micro metrology
Measurement and optimisation of the motion in micromechanical resonators, linear and rotational nano- and micro-positioning stages. We specialise in measuring targets moving at up to ultrasonic frequencies with pico-scale precision, at multi-MHz bandwidths.
Nano-positioning motion control systems
Design and prototyping of translation stages, complex multi-axis motion systems, sensor integration, and robust positioning stability in the face of acoustic noise or thermal fluctuations in the environment.
Semi-autonomous data capture systems
Sensor packaging and self-monitoring for remote data collection and sensing in inaccessible or hazardous environments.
Optics and optical interferometry
Design of optical displacement sensing solutions for bespoke ranges, bandwidths and sensitivities.
Custom electronics and microcontrollers development
Bespoke PCB (printed circuit boards) design, manufacture and integration for removal of third-party reliance or cost reduction.
Modelling language expertise in: Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, ANSYS & HSMXpress.
Instrument control prototyping in: LabVIEW, Python & Matlab.
Image processing algorithms: segmentation, particle analysis, object recognition tracking, machine learning with convolutional neural networks.
Specialist Domain Experience
Experience in optimising yield in new 2D materials manufacturing, characterisation of materials including thin-films, metals, patterned surfaces, and semiconductors.
Nanoscale corrosion and dissolution process observation, inclusion identification and imaging of fatigue and failure analysis in metals.
Significant experience in molecular imaging of DNA, mainly single cell genomics measurement, and chromosomal translocation and mutation identification in diagnostics.
Preparation and imaging of manufacturing and environmental samples for man-made nanoparticle identification.
Our prototyping lab includes our flagship dynamic scanning probe microscope: Vector, plus a variety of optical interferometers, multi-axis linear stages, laser Doppler vibrometers, and various custom sensors; every measurement technology that is required to prototype and test nano to macroscale instrumentation.
We have CNC and additive printing facilities for development of bespoke mechanical components, cases, and parts.
How We Work
Whether you need a few days advice for your own project, or the design and prototyping of a full instrument over several months, we can accommodate your needs.
We will conduct an initial Kick-Off Meeting with you for your to share your goals and needs with us, and to collaboratively agree a plan for ways of working and initial activities; these will typically include context building workshops/meetings, demos of your current workflow or relevant software/hardware or early technical spikes.
Key to any work that we do is the establishment of a robust testing strategy with acceptance criteria that aligns with your goals. This will be reviewed/adjusted as needed throughout our engagement, however short.
During prototype development stages, you may be included as much or as little as you like. We like to share progress and results with each iteration to keep you informed and ensure alignment. We can produce reports outlining the key steps, testing outcomes, and results in a format that works for you.
We specialise in development of ideas and instrumentation from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 1 – 7 (technology prototype demonstration in an operational environment). Our work is typically a vehicle for accessing follow on funding for future commercialisation. In addition to any design and build elements of our engagements, we can also support grant applications with appropriate content, outputs/diagrams and data, and can also advise on IP auditing and protection.
Have an idea you want to see realised?
Alternatively, if you have samples you want measured and are less interested in custom hardware, talk to us about our in-house Imaging Service.