Investigating crystalline samples with ED-1
What started as a paper that demonstrated how electron diffraction could sort out crystal structure, grew out to the start of the company ELDICO in 2019. On a mission to produce the first device solely dedicated to electron diffraction, winning the R&D 100 Award in 2020 selected as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products in the analytical category, was the final push in starting to develop the ELDICO ED-1. With its’ disruptive horizontal design and innovative sample-handling mechanism, the ELDICO ED-1 would enable any crystallographic lab to investigate crystalline samples with particles sizes below 1000 nm.
According to CTO Francesco, electron diffraction has great benefits for the analytical market. “The ED-1 can generate higher quality structural data faster, at lower cost, and overcomes X-ray diffraction limitations. Because of innovative features like the 5-axis goniometer, we can scan through the entire crystalline sample, also the unusual ones. In addition, the device is very user-friendly: you press a button and get the measurements immediately, it’s as simple as that.”
Trust and interest from NTS
Francesco: “Creating a device from scratch, in a market with very little knowledge on the technology, takes time and effort. A lot. From creating a solid customer base by convincing crystallographers, pharma companies and battery companies of the added value of this technology, to actually developing the device. In that process, a partner that adds value is needed. Obviously, great technical knowhow is of the essence here. But in NTS we found a partner that goes way beyond manufacturing capacity: their interest in our product was outstanding from day one. At the time we were scaling up we had a lot of ideas. You can imagine how important trust and interest of a partner with a promising track-record like NTS is in that stage.”
“There is a large interest in seeing ELDICO growing in the right way. That is something we appreciate very much.”Francesco Garbuglia
CTO – Eldico Scientific
Jeroen Sprankenis, New Business Development Manager at NTS, adds: “Next to our role as partner-of-choice for OEMs in the semiconductor and analytical market, at NTS we always have a special interest in high-tech scale-ups that fit our competencies and vision. Their innovative, groundbreaking technologies challenge us to keep accelerating the future. That is why we are always on the lookout for new products from scale-ups with a clear vision to bring innovative technologies to the market, such as the ED-1 from ELDICO.”
Matching development and engineering expertise
NTS’ trust in ELDICO’s ED-1 is not the only reason that convinced ELDICO in working together with NTS. Francesco: “From my technical point of view, I immediately noticed a lot of strong and sound technical knowledge. The engineering division is broad and there is a long-standing track record with knowledge of cleanliness, vacuum systems, precision components, mechanical engineering, materials and frames. Because of that, NTS’ engineers see things in a different way and come up with solutions that we at ELDICO didn’t think of. All the different point of views, that come from this mixed group of engineers, are a large success factor in this project.”
Francesco goes on: “Also, NTS comes with broad manufacturing capabilities and with a strong network of sub-partners that can sort out small issues very quickly. In other words, in working with NTS, we get access to a huge database of technical, in-depth knowledge, so if any problem occurs, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
Adding value to the analytical market
In the optimization phase that ELDICO and NTS are now in, there is an emphasis on increasing manufacturability of the device. Francesco explains: “Now that the first prototypes of the ED-1 are finished, NTS has proven their capability of successfully developing and manufacturing the instrument, according to planning and in series. With the data that we have collected from this series, the next step is to make manufacturing even more cost- and time-efficient.”
The future of ELDICO and NTS, together with that of the electron diffraction market, looks promising. With unlocking new knowledge and bringing this new technology to the market by creating a device solely based on electron diffraction, ELDICO started a large movement. As true partners, both ELDICO and NTS are looking forward to a long and intensive partnership in which they keep accelerating the future.
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