BENEFICIARY 08 - UNISCAN

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ORGANIZATION   

Formed in 1989, Uniscan Instruments has rapidly grown into a world leader for successfully developing innovative measuring instruments for electrochemistry and surface metrology.

Uniscan’s first product, SRET, a Scanning Probe Electrochemical Analysis System, reached the market in 1993. With over 100 units now installed world-wide, continuous product development means that SRET has maintained its leading edge in the Scanning Probe Electrochemistry (SPE) market. The product has since been refined into three further variations, the Scanning Vibrating Probe system (SVET), the Scanning Kelvin Probe system (SKP), the Localised Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (LEIS) system and the Scanning Electrochemical Microscope (SECM). Both Princeton Applied research (formerly EG&G Instruments) and Solartron Analytical currently utilise Uniscan’s technology in their SPE products.

1996 saw Uniscan embark on further expansion by product diversification utilising this proven precision scanning and data acquisition to develop the OSP series of Non-Contact Surface Profiling and Measurement Instruments. More recently, Uniscan have been utilising expertise in Micro-Controller engineering, and knowledge of design of low noise Voltage and Current measurement to design and develop small, powerful potentiostats and impedance analysers, with a full suite of electrochemical analysis techniques, targeted primarily and electrochemical sensor development.

The Company has supplied instrumentation to some of the world’s premier research laboratories such as NASA, Seiko, Monsanto, Rockwell Collins and Bosch, as well as many smaller manufacturing organisations. Uniscan’s management team has several decades of experience in research, development, production and international marketing. The company is committed to continuous product development and quality, ensuring that they provide their customers, associates and distributors with state of the art instrumentation and high quality technical support. The company’s present successful product line has resulted from heavy investment in R&D, where the 35% of total revenues are re-invested. The company sponsors research at several local Universities.

MAIN TASKS WITHIN THE PROJECT

Uniscan’s participation in the BOND has come about as a result of the company’s strategic growth aims. Those include the utilisation of its expertise in the design of instrumentation for making electrochemical measurements in order to broaden our position in the rapidly expanding field of Sensors based around electrochemical analysis. Their role in BOND is utilising our expertise to develop the system with a view to the commercial opportunities for the BOND platform. The combination of skills and experience in this area, affords us an unique position and perspective for exploiting the opportunity presented by the step change in technology afforded by a successful Bond Project. Their technical skills in low voltage and current analogue electronics, highly complex digital control and analysis systems, mobile power management, and neural net analysis and software means we are one of the few qualified groups worldwide available for the tasks required in our work package. Their knowledge and experience of taking products in this sector from scientific concept through to successful product is vital for the project, and indeed our experience of forming a successful commercial venture from the Framework 6 STREP ELISHA Contract No: 505485-1 ensures a track record of success in commercialising European Community research projects.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

Uniscan’s participation in the BOND has come about as a result of the company’s strategic growth aims. Those include the utilisation of its expertise in the design of instrumentation for making electrochemical measurements in order to move into the rapidly expanding field of Sensors based around electrochemical analysis, in particular, the miniaturisation of impedance analysis electronics, and its use in developing application specific devices such as olfactory and remote sensing systems.

The Uniscan’s project team have several decades research and development experience, and have successfully participated in 3 UK DTI SMART projects, and a Framework 5 European collaborative Research and Development Project. Uniscan is also currently participating as a full partner in a framework 6 Project, an EU CRAFT Project, a UK DEFRA Link Project, and a DTI Technology Programme project.

Uniscan has won several competitive awards for research, technical innovation, export and business development, including in 2000, a SMART achievement award in recognition of the Company’s successful commercial exploitation of a product which was developed under the UK DTI SMART Award. Uniscan has also recently formed a joint venture to commercialise the IP developed in a Framework six STREP “ELISHA”.

CONTACT

Graham JOHNSON
Chief Executive and Principal Scientist at Uniscan Instruments

Uniscan Instruments Ltd
Sigma House - Burlow Road
SK17 9JB - Buxton (UK)  
Tel. +44 1298 70981/+44 1298 28861
Fax. + 44 1298 70886
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web: http://www.uniscan.com

KEY PEOPLE

Dr. Graham Johnson. Graham is Chief Executive and Principal Scientist at Uniscan Instruments. A Chartered Physicist and Member of the Institute of Physics, his early research work was in the field of semiconductor low dimensional structures, and he has more than a dozen publications on quantum effects in layered and multi-layered III-V semiconductors, including papers in “The Physical Review”. More recently his interests have moved on to Scanning Probe Electro-Chemistry, and under his business direction, Uniscan have successfully pioneered the commercial introduction of Scanning Reference Electrode Technique (SRET), Scanning Vibrating Electrode Technique (SVET), Scanning Kelvin Probe, Localised Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (LEIS), and Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM).

John Griffiths. John is Technical Director and Chief Design Engineer at Uniscan Instruments. John’s experience and expertise in digital and analogue electronic and software design goes back over 20 years. He has supervised the design of all Uniscan’s products, and has designed for PerkinElmer Instruments Inc. and Solartron Analytical. His interest in electrochemistry is also highlighted by co-authoring several papers including recent research in Scanning Photo-induced Impedance Spectroscopy published in the Journal of Electro-Chemistry.