DENSsolutions has installed yet another Stream system in Germany at Forschungszentrum Jülich

DENSsolutions has installed yet another Stream system in Germany at Forschungszentrum Jülich

DENSsolutions Installing South Korea's second Stream system at Seoul National University

From left to right: Andreas Körner and Dr. Andreas Hutzler

We are proud to announce that DENSsolutions has installed yet another Stream system in Germany at the esteemed Forschungszentrum Jülich, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centres in Europe. In this article, we interview Dr. Andreas Hutzler, the new head of the TEM lab in the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) at Forschungszentrum Jülich, to learn more about their advanced microscopy facility, its research direction, as well as how our Stream system is advancing their research.

Can you tell me more about the microscopy facility at HI ERN?

“The Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) is part of the Forschungszentrum Jülich. It specializes in providing crucial research on technologies needed to utilize renewable energies in the decades to come. Our research is centered around fuel cells, electrolyzers and hydrogen storage. The institute was founded in 2013 and has been growing ever since. In 2021, its new research building was inaugurated, hosting the space for a new transmission electron microscope, the Talos F200i from Thermo Fisher Scientific. This tool provides in-house structural analysis on the nanoscale for catalysts, support systems and membranes.”

What type of applications are the users at HI ERN using the Stream system for?

“Our goal is to study electrochemical processes taking place on electrode and catalyst surfaces within electrolyzers and fuel cells down to the atomic scale. We aim to understand which reactions take place, and which conditions enhance the performance of the cells or disintegrate the structures involved.

In order to understand this, we consider beam-induced effects onto the solution chemistry we investigate. For this, we utilize a comprehensive radiolysis model for unraveling the influence of electron irradiation onto the sample and compare the results to non-biased experimental observations. Once this is understood, we continue with analyzing dynamic processes at the nanoscale to gain insights into reaction pathways and degradation mechanisms in P2X and X2P applications.”

What particular features of the DENSsolutions Stream solution attracted you to the system?

“In order to understand observable processes and their correlated chemistry, it is necessary to accurately tune experimental conditions while operating the system. The ability of the Stream system to flexibly adjust pressure, flux, temperature and potential allows to run a manifold of experiments in a wide parameter space. This is needed in order to verify the stability of our reaction kinetic models and for testing electrolysis at borderline conditions. Before, the structures could only be studied after the reaction has taken place. But the ability to directly observe dynamic processes on-site in real time gives valuable insights in the chemistry at hand.”

Can you tell me about the grant that was won to acquire the system?

“One of our key research interests is the development of new methods for characterizing fundamental and applied processes in electrocatalysis relevant to electrochemical energy conversion. After establishing identical-location TEM (IL-TEM) for energy applications and with the start of my team, a new transmission electron microscope as well as equipment needed for in situ liquid-phase TEM was funded by and installed at HI ERN. This particular toolbox will be a great asset for the nanoanalysis of electrochemical processes in my team which will enable unique insights in energy research.”

In your experience so far, how have you found the Stream system?

“The modular architecture of the Stream system enables a very versatile applicability without risking leakage or cross-contaminations. The performance of LP-TEM is considerably enhanced due to the controllability of liquid flow, the ever-present window bulging via the utilization of a novel chip design as well as a differential pumping system as a standard. Moreover, DENSsolutions came forward with providing non-standard solutions in order to provide compatibility with other setups at our institute.”

DENSsolutions Prof. Jungwon Park
Dr. Andreas Hutzler
Head of the Transmission Electron Microscopy lab| HI ERN, Forschungszentrum Jülich

Dr. Andreas Hutzler is the new head of the Transmission Electron Microscopy lab at HI ERN, PI of multiple projects at HI ERN and university and is currently setting up a team for nanoanalysis of electrochemical processes. His research interests mainly focus on methodological aspects of LP-TEM and its application in electrochemical energy conversion.

Discover Dr. Andreas Hutzler’s publications:

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Announcing DENSsolutions’ new CEO: Dr. Hugo Pérez-Garza

Announcing DENSsolutions’ new CEO: Dr. Hugo Pérez-Garza

An interview with Dr. Hugo Pérez-Garza, the newly appointed CEO of DENSsolutions.

We are excited to announce the appointment of DENSsolutions’ new CEO: Dr. Hugo Pérez-Garza, a longstanding pillar within this company. Dr. Hugo Pérez-Garza is a highly experienced and well-regarded leader with a strong feel for both science and business. During the last 3 years, Hugo has passionately and successfully led the technological roadmap and strategic positioning of DENSsolutions as Chief Technology Officer. With his unique skillset, extensive experience and diverse knowledge, Hugo certainly has the blueprint to propel the success of DENSsolutions to unprecedented heights.

In this article, we interview Hugo to learn everything from how this appointment came to be, the changes he would like to implement as the new CEO, to the exciting vision he has for DENSsolutions.

Can you tell us a little bit about how your appointment of CEO came to be?

“After many years of hard work, full of achievements thanks to his never-ending commitment to deliver results and his capability for entrepreneurial vision, our former CEO, Mr. Ben Bormans, reached his age of retirement. I´ve been very lucky in my career to have learned from someone like Ben, and I´m very thankful for the opportunity he has given me to join this amazing company. Throughout all these years of working together, Ben was the mentor who coached me and challenged me to become a better version of myself. Particularly during my former years as the CTO, Ben gave me all the trust and confidence to completely steer the direction of this company from a technological standpoint, while advising me on how to steer also from a business perspective. So after his decision to retire, I received the trust from him and the shareholders to step in as the new CEO, and thus to provide business growth, new energy and opportunities to move in new directions.” 

How do you feel your knowledge and experience will further the success of the DENSsolutions as the new CEO?

“I feel that I’m at a point in my career where I have the right combination of experience, ambition and energy in order to embark upon a nice professional challenge like this. But in particular, I believe that I have a strong knowledge base about the business and its technology, its customers and the external factors that are likely to impact our company. This should allow us to achieve a better match between our technical vision and our business ambition, and it will help me to identify faster the things that might need to change, so that decisions can be executed in a structured and properly planned manner. At the end of the day, I intend to bring innovation to our business model, our strategy and our people management style. By doing this, I want to highlight the importance of putting ‘dynamics ahead of mechanics’.” 

What are some changes you would like to implement as DENSsolutions’ newly-appointed CEO?

“First of all I want to implement new internal procedures to increase and strengthen the alignment among different departments. During this process, I want to ensure that I match our talent to value, which goes beyond employee engagement, and combine speed with stability. Before the end of this year, I want to get the whole team aligned on our upcoming roadmap, but also on the vision that I have for the medium and long term. This will help us become more efficient in how we operate. Overall I want to promote a forward-looking agenda and empower our employees to exploit their talents to the fullest.”

What vision do you have for DENSsolutions in the near future?

“One of the things that I´ve always highlighted about DENSsolutions, is the enormous talent of our people and the strength of our team. When you have these assets, and you combine them with a strong vision, great things can happen. And that’s precisely the foundation that I’m laying on for our near, medium and long-term future. For the near future, I want to ensure that we can finalize and launch some important and new developments, which will strengthen our value proposition and our presence in the market. But since technological innovation (and thus the RnD department) is not the only crucial aspect of our business, I also intend to set in motion new ideas for marketing, sales and operations. The roadmap is already in motion, and we are fully committed to delivering increasing value to our customers.”

Discover Hugo’s publications:

DENSsolutions Climate system takes home the microscopy today 2021 innovation award

DENSsolutions’ Climate system takes home the Microscopy Today 2021 Innovation Award

DENSsolutions becomes a consecutive two-time winner of the Microscopy Today Innovation Awards. This year, our Climate system is recognized as one of the 10 most game-changing microscopy innovations of 2021.

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DENSsolutions’ Climate system takes home the Microscopy Today 2021 Innovation Award

DENSsolutions’ Climate system takes home the Microscopy Today 2021 Innovation Award

DENSsolutions becomes a consecutive two-time winner of the Microscopy Today Innovation Awards. This year, our Climate system is recognized as one of the 10 most game-changing microscopy innovations of 2021.

Just last year, our Stream system was awarded the Microscopy Today Innovation Award for its unique contribution to the field of liquid phase electron microscopy. We are honored to be taking home the same award for a second year in a row but this time for the remarkable innovation that is our Climate system. Climate is recognized as one of the 10 most game-changing microscopy innovations in 2021 by Microscopy Society of America‘s esteemed magazine, Microscopy Today. We interviewed our Chief Technology Officer Dr. Hugo Pérez-Garza, who led the development of the Climate system, to learn all about the unique benefits that made it earn such an esteemed award, as well as the development process and Climate’s current and envisioned applications. The transcript of the interview is provided below.

What was your reaction when you first heard the news?

It was pretty exciting. As you can imagine, the entire team was very happy when we first heard the news. At the end of the day, I think that this is just another consequence of the amazing teamwork that prevails in this company. And of course, to be accredited by the MSA is a big honor, especially as this is a highly esteemed award within the community. So it really means a lot to us. We really feel confident that our technology, and particularly our Climate system, will help scientists explore all sorts of new research possibilities.

What unique aspects of the system do you think made it earn such an esteemed award?

Over the last months, we have been exerting a lot of effort into making sure that we can improve the Climate system from various different angles. So that means that we have been doing a lot of work to ensure that we can optimize the different components that make up this plug-and-play system. Specifically, we have been trying to boost our MEMS capabilities (the Nano-Reactor). Moreover, we have been trying to continuously improve our hardware components, including the Gas Supply System, the Vaporizer, the Mass Spectrometer, etc. And of course, making sure that we can have new solutions as well for the software platform. Now when you put all these together, what we ended up realizing was that this new optimized Climate system brings all sort of real unique aspects to one’s research.

1) Live gas mixing

Firstly, Climate offers the possibility of performing live gas mixing (i.e. making sure that you can achieve any desired gas composition instantaneously). It ensures that users won’t have to wait for their gas mixtures to be prepared. We see this big added value in our customers’ experiments, for example in redox reactions, where the intrinsic nature of the experiment demands the possibility to quickly go from an oxidizing environment to a reducing environment. Often times people have to do this back-and-forth and in a fast and repetitive way. 

2) Start a new experiment (from a dry to wet environment or vice versa) within minutes

Furthermore, for these experiments a lot of researchers would be interested in humidifying the gas composition. This is precisely where the Vaporizer comes in. Now what happens here is that when you are humidifying the gas, often people are afraid of the contamination that the water molecules would represent for the gas lines. And that is why systems have to baked or have to undergo lengthy pumping times. But that wouldn’t be the case with the Vaporizer, as we have designed it in such a way that the introduction of the water vapor to the gas mixture is the last thing before entering the holder. So that ensures that your Gas Supply System will remain clean, and that you don’t have to perform these baking procedures or keep it pumping over night. This ultimately means you can go from a dry environment to a wet environment, or vice versa, in just a few minutes. So it opens up a lot of possibilities because it gives users this flexibility. 

3) Safely work with explosive mixtures and independently control gas parameters

The fact that we’re dealing with extremely low volumes of gas also means that we can safely handle explosive mixtures even if you plan to do this under extreme conditions such as high temperatures (above 1000°C) in combination with high pressures (i.e. 2 bars) and high relative humidity (i.e. 100%). Not only can you safely handle these explosive mixtures, but you can also control the relative humidity independently from other parameters such as temperature, pressure, gas composition and flow rate. So having this independent control also brings a lot of flexibility to users. 

4) Perform real nano-calorimetry and calibrate for time delay

The Nano-Reactor is also something very unique as we have been heavily optimizing the design such that, for example, the microheater allows for real nano-calorimetry. And this is really unique because it means that you can start quantifying and measuring the tiniest changes in temperature dissipation to understand if you’re observing an exothermic or endothermic reaction. And this is also really beneficial because you can calibrate for time delay, which is an issue that systems usually suffer from due to the unavoidable delay from the Gas Supply System to the MEMS device and to the Mass Spectrometer. Now, we can calibrate for that. 

5)  Prevent bypasses and achieve a desirable SNR

Moreover, the unique design of the Nano-Reactor itself, for which we have a patent, ensures that we can have an on-chip inlet and outlet. In other words, we can ensure that the gas will flow from the inlet to the outlet via the region of interest in a uni-directional way. And that means we can prevent bypasses and therefore improve the signal-to-noise ratio and the sensitivity of the Gas Analyzer. So the combination of these offerings (for example that our MEMS device can go to these high pressures like 2 bar, or allow you to perform EDS experiments well above 900 degrees at high pressures) ends up bringing a very unique value proposition for the user. 

What unique aspects of the system do you think made it earn such an esteemed award?

Over the last months, we have been exerting a lot of effort into making sure that we can improve the Climate system from various different angles. So that means that we have been doing a lot of work to ensure that we can optimize the different components that make up this plug-and-play system. Specifically, we have been trying to boost our MEMS capabilities (the Nano-Reactor). Moreover, we have been trying to continuously improve our hardware components, including the Gas Supply System, the Vaporizer, the Mass Spectrometer, etc. And of course, making sure that we can have new solutions as well for the software platform. Now when you put all these together, what we ended up realizing was that this new optimized Climate system brings all sort of real unique aspects to one’s research.

1) Live gas mixing

Firstly, Climate offers the possibility of performing live gas mixing (i.e. making sure that you can achieve any desired gas composition instantaneously). It ensures that users won’t have to wait for their gas mixtures to be prepared. We see this big added value in our customers’ experiments, for example in redox reactions, where the intrinsic nature of the experiment demands the possibility to quickly go from an oxidizing environment to a reducing environment. Often times people have to do this back-and-forth and in a fast and repetitive way. 

2) Start a new experiment (from a dry to wet environment or vice versa) within minutes

Furthermore, for these experiments a lot of researchers would be interested in humidifying the gas composition. This is precisely where the Vaporizer comes in. Now what happens here is that when you are humidifying the gas, often people are afraid of the contamination that the water molecules would represent for the gas lines. And that is why systems have to baked or have to undergo lengthy pumping times. But that wouldn’t be the case with the Vaporizer, as we have designed it in such a way that the introduction of the water vapor to the gas mixture is the last thing before entering the holder. So that ensures that your Gas Supply System will remain clean, and that you don’t have to perform these baking procedures or keep it pumping over night. This ultimately means you can go from a dry environment to a wet environment, or vice versa, in just a few minutes. So it opens up a lot of possibilities because it gives users this flexibility. 

3) Safely work with explosive mixtures and independently control gas parameters

The fact that we’re dealing with extremely low volumes of gas also means that we can safely handle explosive mixtures even if you plan to do this under extreme conditions such as high temperatures (above 1000°C) in combination with high pressures (i.e. 2 bars) and high relative humidity (i.e. 100%). Not only can you safely handle these explosive mixtures, but you can also control the relative humidity independently from other parameters such as temperature, pressure, gas composition and flow rate. So having this independent control also brings a lot of flexibility to users. 

4) Perform real nano-calorimetry and calibrate for time delay

The Nano-Reactor is also something very unique as we have been heavily optimizing the design such that, for example, the microheater allows for real nano-calorimetry. And this is really unique because it means that you can start quantifying and measuring the tiniest changes in temperature dissipation to understand if you’re observing an exothermic or endothermic reaction. And this is also really beneficial because you can calibrate for time delay, which is an issue that systems usually suffer from due to the unavoidable delay from the Gas Supply System to the MEMS device and to the Mass Spectrometer. Now, we can calibrate for that. 

5)  Prevent bypasses and achieve a desirable SNR

Moreover, the unique design of the Nano-Reactor itself, for which we have a patent, ensures that we can have an on-chip inlet and outlet. In other words, we can ensure that the gas will flow from the inlet to the outlet via the region of interest in a uni-directional way. And that means we can prevent bypasses and therefore improve the signal-to-noise ratio and the sensitivity of the Gas Analyzer. So the combination of these offerings (for example that our MEMS device can go to these high pressures like 2 bar, or allow you to perform EDS experiments well above 900 degrees at high pressures) ends up bringing a very unique value proposition for the user. 

What inspired you and the entire team to develop Climate in the first place?

Certainly understanding the importance and the impact that environmental studies can have on our global society was a big source of inspiration for the entire team. Having said that, understanding the solid-gas interactions at the nanoscale is what sets the foundation such that scientists can really start understanding how to optimize and synthesize future catalytic nanoparticles, which will end up playing a crucial role in applications such as carbon capture, energy storage and conversion as well as food production. So it is really this profound information that we can get from in situ TEM that gives this understanding. Because when you can start correlating particle size with composition, crystal orientation, or with the atomic or the electronic structure, it really gives a deep level of understanding for all these kinds of experiments. 

Can you walk us through the development process of Climate?

It has been 5 or 6 years since we launched our first product line for in situ gas analysis. Ever since, what we have been doing is trying to make sure that we can stay as close as we can to our customers as well as prospects. Now the intention of doing that is when you start gathering the feedback and the vision that both groups have, you start understanding the pain points a little bit more. You start becoming more empathic to their experimental needs. And that helps us identify the product profile that we should have in place. And when you are aware of this product profile, then automatically you know what technologies must be developed, which is part of your roadmap. And subsequently when you have that in place, then you also know what people and processes must be involved. So, it’s a matter of doing that so that when we gather these market requirements, we can follow a defined product creation process that will allow us to develop a technology that will match these market requirements. 

What future applications do you envision for Climate?

Certainly everything related to green technologies. As I mentioned earlier, that is a big goal and motivation that we all have at this company. So these kinds of experiments and topics I was referring to like carbon capture, energy conversion and storage, and all sort of environmental protection kind of studies, that’s really where everything will head towards. 

Thank you for reading. To learn more about our Climate system please follow the links below.

Download the Climate brochure: 

See a customer publication:

Receive a quotation:

Receive a demo:

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Introducing our latest product: the Climate G+ Vaporizer

Introducing our latest product: the Climate G+ Vaporizer

An interview with DENSsolutions R&D Engineer Ronald Spruit about our latest extension of the Climate G+ product line: the Vaporizer

Ronald Spruit Vaporizer article 1200x628

DENSsolutions introduces its latest product: the Vaporizer — an extension of the Climate G+ product line. This innovative solution takes your in situ experiments to a whole new level, enabling you to independently add water vapor to any gas mixture of up to 3 gases. We interview our R&D Engineer Ronald Spruit to learn all about the Vaporizer, from what inspired its development, its unique capabilities and the many applications that will benefit from its creation.

What led to the development of the Climate G+ Vaporizer?

The DENSsolutions Climate system has been widely used to study catalysis, nanomaterial growth and corrosion. Currently, the system provides a highly controlled gas and temperature environment, allowing users to independently control gas composition, gas pressure, gas flow rate and temperature. To enable this high level of control, the development of Climate has been aimed at delivering and mixing gases in the most accurate and clean way possible. 

Typically, high-purity gases are being used in combination with the Climate Gas Supply System (GSS). As a consequence, the environment that is created in the Nano-Reactor can be very dry. However, it is known that realistic scenarios and industrially relevant applications often occur under conditions where the gas is not perfectly dry, but in conditions where vapors are present. Moreover, although water’s negative effects on metal corrosion and catalyst deactivation have been well-researched for decades, the study of water’s influence on gas-solid reactions inside a TEM is limited. This is due to the lack of control over the flow rate and pressure of the water vapor, as well as the fear of contaminating high-vacuum TEM columns.

We therefore wanted to develop a solution that tackles these limitations by allowing users to add water vapor to their gas flow, and have the liberty to fully control the water vapor pressure. This is precisely what the Vaporizer enables. With the development of the Vaporizer, we hope to not only make new research involving water possible, but also draw attention to the importance of controlling water vapor levels to increase the repeatability of in situ experiments.

What are the main benefits of the Climate G+ Vaporizer?

The Vaporizer further extends the unique capabilities of the Climate G+ system, making your in situ experiments more accurate, reliable and representative of realistic conditions than ever before.

1) Independently control gas parameters: In addition to the independent control of gas pressure, flow and composition that the Climate G+ offers, the Vaporizer allows for the fully independent control of one more significant gas parameter: the level of water vapor pressure over the complete range of 0 to 25 mbar. This means that for the first time, you can fine-tune any of the above-mentioned parameters with the assurance that the others stay perfectly steady.

2) Start a new experiment in minutes: The Vaporizer has been designed to be versatile, fast and flexible. The vapor is added to the gas flow as provided by the GSS just before the gas enters the TEM holder. Therefore, the GSS remains free of water vapor, allowing you to switch back and forth between ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ conditions or even start a new experiment in a matter of minutes.

3) Safely work with explosive mixtures: A known unique feature of the Climate G+ system is that it allows you to safely work with flammable or even explosive mixtures thanks to its live mixing feature and minimal internal volume. This benefit extends into the Vaporizer, which allows you to safely add water vapor to any gas mixture.

Which applications will benefit most from the Climate G+ Vaporizer?

Applications that will highly benefit most from the Vaporizer include catalysis reactions involving water, catalyst deactivation caused by water, and metal corrosion. 

For example, in our published application note, we use the Vaporizer to study the reconstruction behavior of NiAu bimetallic core-shell nanoparticles, a catalyst system highly selective to CO in CO2 hydrogenation, under a hybrid atmosphere of water and hydrogen. For the NiAu nanoparticles, water is a reaction product. By controlling the water pressure, it is revealed that a solid NiO shell forms at high water vapor levels, reversible loose NiO appears and disappears at low water vapor levels and no NiO formation occurs with no water. The results provide perspective on the complex role that water plays on reactions. Moreover, the ability to introduce water vapor in a controlled fashion can help researchers design more water-sustainable catalysts.

In the future, we also expect the Vaporizer to be useful for applications involving solid batteries that require some need for water.

What is the compatibility of the Climate G+ Vaporizer?

The Vaporizer is designed for and fully compatible with the Climate G+ product line.  It is also directly compatible with most generations of Climate S3+ systems. However, for these systems it’s best to get in touch with us to confirm the compatibility, possibilities and potential aspects to consider.

What kind of challenges were tackled during development?

One of the main challenges of this development was designing the Vaporizer in such a way that it would be fully compatible with the Climate G+ system, while maintaining our existing unique features and benefits. Fortunately, we were able to find a good solution to integrate the hardware, control mechanisms and software seamlessly into each other. As a result, the Climate system feels as if the Vaporizer has always been part of it and at the same time the Vaporizer can be seen as an add-on to existing systems. This serves new users with a system that can do it all as well as ensures backwards compatibility to existing systems such that we don’t exclude the loyal users of our systems from the possibility to upgrade with this new vapor feature.

Read more about the Vaporizer:

 

Download the application note:

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Impulse 1.1: Experience true experimental freedom with Python

Impulse 1.1: Experience true experimental freedom with Python

With the latest version of Impulse, you can now control our systems using Python scripts and fully customize your experiments

Impulse 1.1 python

We are excited to announce the release of our latest Impulse 1.1 software. By creating an API for Impulse, this new update will enable you to exercise creative control over your experiments and inspire you to break the boundaries of your research. We interview our Product Architect (UX) Merijn Pen who led this development, so that you can learn all about Impulse 1.1 and how it can elevate your research.

What can users achieve with this latest version of Impulse?

1) Infinite control

With Impulse 1.1, users will now have the opportunity to experience unlimited flexibility in the control of our systems via Python scripts. In Impulse, we already have an advanced yet easy-to-use profile builder that enables you to design your own experiments. All the basic functionalities that you would require, like creating temperature ramps or pulses, are made possible with the profile builder. However, if you would like to perform more customized experiments involving for example, a particular temperature curve, more flexibility is required. This is exactly where scripting comes in. It will enable you to control multiple stimuli within our systems in any way you please.

You can also create your own feedback loops, where you can interdependently control multiple stimuli in your experiment. Specifically, you can create scripts that look at one parameter and based on some calculation or analysis that you perform on that measurement, it will subsequently control another parameter.

2) Systems integration

With Python, you can write scripts that not only control stimuli within our in situ systems, but also integrate other hardware in your experiment setup that also have an API. For example, you can trigger the data capturing of your camera from the same scripts that control your stimuli and direct the entire experiment. Moreover, in regards to data integration, scripting also allows for the real time tagging of your imaging data with all the parameters of our in situ systems. Ultimately, the main benefit of this hardware integration capability is that it makes the control of the orchestra of equipment in your in situ experiments a lot easier. You can synchronize the control of all the different equipment from one place and in that way make sure that each instrument performs its task at the right moment. 

3) Processing and analysis

Python offers thousands of open-source modules that include all kinds of functionalities that allow for real-time processing and analysis of your experimental data. Therefore, with scripting you can draw conclusions from your experiments much faster.

How can users get access to Python scripts?

Overtime, we will be building an opensource database on Github where there will be numerous scripts that perform all kinds of experimental controls, integrations with other equipment, and data processing and analysis. You can use these scripts as is or customize them according to your needs. Our Github page not only offers example scripts that you can easily download, but it also includes tutorials that will help beginner programmers get started with Python programming. In fact, it should help anyone, from basic beginners to more advanced users. Of course, aside from our own database, you can find numerous scripts online as there is plenty of opensource information available online. 

What led you to develop this new version of Impulse?

The vision of impulse is to make in situ experiments a lot easier and more efficient to perform. When developing and improving our software, I always put myself in the mindset of our customer and think what they would like to see. For some customers, they want to perform experiments that have never been done before. The development of Impulse 1.1 will enable this experimental flexibility and freedom. We want to give users the opportunity but also the inspiration to break the boundaries of research.

For those users who desire more basic functionalities and an easy-to-use environment, our current Impulse user interface delivers just that. With our new Python interface, we now offer unlimited flexibility to any user who would like to perform experiments that our current user interface does not allow. Of course, we will still be expanding the capabilities of the user interface of Impulse and the software itself. Ultimately, we are very proud to have found a way to develop a software that maintains ease-of-use while still offering users limitless flexibility.

Which future developments lie ahead?

Besides the Python control of the system, this API also opens the doors for new integrations into all kinds of software platforms that will be showing up in the near future. We will always strive to find innovative ways to give our customers a fully integrated user experience.

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Meet our Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez

Meet our Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez

Hugo feature image

At DENSsolutions, we persistently challenge ourselves to develop the most innovative and outstanding solutions that you need to advance your research. This continuous yet passionate pursuit has been led for years by our Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez, a longstanding pillar within this company. He has played a critical role in positioning DENSsolutions as a global leader in the field of in-situ TEM, and bringing home the Microscopy Today 2020 award. 

In this latest addition to DENSsolutions Meet the Team series, we interview Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hugo Pérez, so you can learn all about his diverse educational experiences and wild backstory.

Where it all started

“My name is Hugo Pérez and I’m 35-year-old proud Mexican born in the beautiful city of Chihuahua. Although I was raised in Mexico and it holds a special place in my heart, I have lived in 7 countries around the world including the USA, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“I’ve always said that my passion is MEMS and nanotechnology, my obsession is biology, but my heart lies within business management.” – Dr. Hugo Pérez 

When deciding what to study early on in my life, I was doubting whether to go for medicine or engineering. After much deliberation, I decided to go for the latter as I realized that I could later on in my career apply the developed technical skills for medical devices and healthcare purposes. I obtained my BSc in Mechatronics Engineering at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. It was during my bachelor’s studies, and especially during my time in Canada and Germany, that I was introduced to the world of nanotechnology and realized that there was nothing more I wanted to do. I was amazed by the wide scope of possibilities in which this disruptive technology could be used. So, I started discussing with my supervisors, expressing my intention of specializing in micro/nano-mechatronics, with the aim of one day having the knowledge to develop electromechanical systems at the molecular scale for biomedical purposes. Funnily enough, I was partly inspired by the movie Fantastic Voyage, where a submarine and its crew were shrunken to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of a scientist in order to save his life.

Stream-LPEM-system-Microscopy-Today-2020-Innovation-award-400x250

Stream LPEM system wins the Microscopy Today 2020 Innovation award

 

A conversation with our CTO Dr. Hugo Pérez who has been leading the development of the award-winning system.

The first of many MSc degrees

“Coincidentally, both my supervisors in Canada and Germany, who didn’t know each other, gave me the exact same advice: to pursue a MSc in Molecular Bioengineering at TU-Dresden, in Germany. But before doing so, I had my first professional experience working within the industry, where I spent a bit over 1.5 years working as an Automation Engineer at GCC, a large cement company in Mexico. This job gave me a lot of exposure to chemistry and material science, and allowed me to discover much more about the power of using nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes. As you can imagine, this experience only grew my desire further to specialize in nanotechnology.

“From that point onwards, and for the next many years, I would be spending most of my time inside the cleanroom, learning all kinds of processes and tips & tricks to manufacture nanodevices.”

So, after this rewarding experience, I took my supervisors’ advice to heart, and jumped back to Germany to start my first (of three) Master’s degree. Studying molecular bioengineering gave me the opportunity to learn about molecular biology and all kinds of exciting applications in genetics and proteomics. However, as interesting as it was, I was still missing the engineering side that would allow me to design and manufacture nanodevices. This is precisely why I moved to Sweden to pursue a second MSc degree in Nanotechnology at the Chalmers University of Technology. It was thanks to this second MSc degree that I properly got immersed in the world of NEMS/MEMS and micro/nano-fabrication. From that point onwards, and for the next many years, I would be spending most of my time inside the cleanroom, learning all kinds of processes and tips & tricks to manufacture nanodevices.”

Hugo image with illustrations

Mission impossible

“After finishing my second MSc, and given the fact that this was all very intense, I was prepared to go back to the industry with the aim of slowly starting to move towards a highly ranked management position in a high-tech company. However, destiny had something else prepared for me. I ended up getting a PhD position at TU-Delft in the Netherlands. Although pursuing a PhD was not part of the plan, I couldn’t deny this opportunity given the fact that the project was exactly what I was looking for. Not only that, but my promotor would be Dr. Urs Staufer, a remarkable scientist who led NASA’s Phoenix Mars Mission and developed the first nanosensor for planetary science able to measure the presence of water molecules on Mars. I took this opportunity as a great chance to learn from one of the best.

“At a certain point I was working in parallel on two different PhD projects while simultaneously pursuing an MBA.”

To make the story more complicated, another opportunity came up to pursue a third Master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Cumbria. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to jump on this considering my goal has always been to become a successful businessman. However, destiny still had another surprise for me: the appearance of another PhD project on graphene manipulation. Therefore, at a certain point I was working in parallel on two different PhD projects while simultaneously pursuing an MBA. This complete academic experience, which was extremely demanding, forced me to become a very structured and time-efficient person. This is partly the reason why I’ve won the best scientific paper on a number of occasions at prestigious international conferences.

Now, at DENSsolutions, I’m trying to exploit all these experiences to the most, not just to lead the company on the right technological path, but also to bring the business to a higher level. I enjoy acting as a coach to my colleagues and ensuring there’s always something they can learn from me. From a commercial perspective, what I enjoy the most is pitching our technology to convince people of our solutions, as well as trying to close new deals. It excites me that researchers all over the world in a wide variety of applications rely on our advanced technologies to conduct their research. Keeping the right balance between business and science is what has allowed me to strengthen my international network, and what has given me the possibility to be in contact with global industrial leaders and some of the greatest scientific minds in the community.”

Thank you for reading this article! If you would like to ask Hugo any questions, whether it’s about his education, experience or knowledge, please don’t hesitate to contact him via the form below

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