LIG Nanowise, which specialises in developing super-resolution microscope technology and applying revolutionary and patented microsphere lens technologies to industry and academia, has announced the completion of its seed funding round, raising £2.6m.
LIG Nanowise has developed an accessible super-resolution imaging technique for advanced materials, semiconductors, metal alloys, and more. Its specialist technology transforms light microscopes, the most popular form of microscopy in the world, into ultra-high-resolution systems for the first time, through the record-breaking performance of its microsphere lenses. The company’s NANOPSIS M microscope, allows for real-time, non-destructive imaging at super-resolution in full colour, democratising super-resolution capabilities in the scientific community, stretching what were thought to be the limits of optical microscopy.
The financing, which was led by Hong Kong based venture capital investor Phoenix Bridge, alongside private investors, will go towards expanding the company’s manufacturing capability and international sales network, helping to deliver its world-leading NANOPSIS M microscope to new prospects across industry and academia. A proportion of the money will also help to fund continued R&D efforts in multiple sectors, and further develop the organisation’s novel nano-patterning system, reinforcing its position as the industry leader in applied microsphere technologies and a key disruptor in the optics space..
As well as being an accessible super-resolution option, the company’s patented SMAL technology reveals the nanoscopic world in previously unseen ways. With this technique, there is no need for the traditional coating of a sample, which is required when using a common electron or atomic force microscope, this technology enables users to see objects smaller than 200 nm – or the size of a large virus – in high-resolution and full colour.
LIG Nanowise’s technology has the potential to open up new vistas of research for super-materials such as graphene and semiconductors, providing a new, synergistic imaging technique to integrate into existing imaging protocols. Its microsphere lens technology has further far-reaching applications in areas such as industrial nanoprecision laser etching of surfaces, for applications such as bank note security and microelectronics.
Alex Sheppard, general manager of LIG Nanowise, commented: “Since inception, we have made rapid progress in applying our patented, super-resolution microsphere lenses to practical problems facing industry and academia. The support of Phoenix Bridge and our other new investors will allow us to expand our international distribution network, deliver more system orders, and further increase the efficiency of our manufacturing pipeline.
“At our roots we are innovators, and so we will dedicate a proportion of this funding towards pursuing a number of additional applications for the future – we aim to make microsphere lenses a platform technology that can augment a wide spectrum of optical instrumentation, manufacturing equipment, and photonics devices.”