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Agilent Buys Nano Instruments
Jun 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 30, 2008 -- Measurement company Agilent Technologies Inc. announced today it has acquired the Nano Instruments business unit of MTS Systems Corp for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its nanomeasurement product portfolio.

Founded in 1983 and based in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Nano Instruments supplies nanoindentation systems and software for applications such as verifying the structural integrity of semiconductor devices, coatings and thin films in the materials sciences, semiconductor and life sciences. The company was acquired by MTS Systems in 1998 and has about 45 employees who have joined Agilent, including co-founder and General Manager Warren Oliver.

Nanoindentation is an adjacent market to atomic force microscopy; Agilent currently sells atomic force microscopes (AFMs). Both nanoindentation systems and AFMs are used to measure and characterize materials for hardness, elasticity and viscosity at the nanometer scale; research laboratories that use AFMs typically have a nanoindentation system in close proximity.

The Nano Instruments business is joining Agilent’s Materials Science Solutions Unit (MSSU) within the Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis business, Agilent said. The unit was formed in 2007 under Mike Gasparian, vice president and general manager. MSSU’s focus is to provide microscopy, particle analysis and optical spectroscopy solutions for the materials testing, life sciences and chemical analysis markets, as well as to advance nanotechnology. Other recent acquisitions in this business unit include microscopy business Till Photonics and particle analysis instrumentation provider Colloidal Dynamics (See also: Agilent to Buy Till Photonics).

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