Company History

Kratos Analytical are now in their 46th year of manufacturing photoelectron spectrometers which started in 1969 with the ES-100 through to the current state-of-the-art AXIS Nova with delay-line detector.

As we head towards our half century we celebrate our progress in the manufacture of electron spectrometers at Kratos Analytical.

Our MALDI business is in its 25th year of design and manufacturing of MALDI-ToF instruments which started with the original MALDI II benchtop instrument and has progressed through several generations to the current Axima series and the MALDI-7090 high performance instrument.

The Early Days

In 1970, AEI introduced their first electron spectrometer, the ES100. It was the first commercially-available instrument to combine successfully three operating techniques' these being high and low energy photo-electron spectrometry and Auger spectrometry. The wide range of possible applications included catalysis study, corrosion research, structural organic chemistry and ceramics technology. The versatility of the ES100 was increased further by the incorporation of several sample handling facilities, together with ultra-violet and electron bombardment sources. This product proved to be a highly successful venture, out-selling all of its competitors.

The following year, the ES200 was announced. This spectrometer was a modification of, and a successor to, the ES100. In addition to the features of its predecessor, the ES200 sample region is designed for UHV applications, a pressure of 10-10 torr being attainable in the source. Sample excitation using monochromatic X-rays is now available thus increasing resolution and minimizing interference. To date approximately 40 of these instruments have been sold.

From the pamphlet "The origins and products of AEI Scientific Apparatus Limited",
compiled by D.Heyworth, published by AEI Scientific Apparatus limited, 1974.

The 1970s

The "ES" era...
With the introduction of the ES100 with fast insertion probe, the ES200 with DS100 data system and the ES300 with monchromator.

The 1980s

The age of the XSAM...
With the launch of the original XSAM multitechnique instrument, our baby! The XSAM 800i with DS800 and the Processor controlled - XSAM 800pci.

The 1990s

The spatially keyed spectroscopy years...
With the introduction of the original AXIS, AXIS HS with a magnetic lens and monochromator, the AXIS HSi with VISON data system and the AXIS 165 where everything is larger.

In other developments, the Shimadzu Research Laboratory was established in April 1997 as a subsidiary of Shimadzu Europe Ltd (SEL), sharing premises and facilities with Kratos.

The 2000s to present day

A long-term development and expansion programme saw the opening of Shimadzu Research Laboratory's purpose built facility on Wednesday, 3rd May 2006.

While centring on hardware development for mass spectrometers and scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), SRL has gradually expanded its research areas to include bio- and nanotechnology. In the field of mass spectrometry, SRL has strong basic research on new types of ion-trap technology, algorithms for determining the amino-acid sequences of proteins and reagents for the quantitative and comparative analysis of proteins. In the field of SEMs, research projects on algorithms for processing spectral imaging data, ultra-sensitive electron-energy analysers, ultra-low acceleration compact SEMs, and aberration corrected electronic optical systems are in progress, and starting to bear (commercial) fruit.

SRL is primarily engaged in work commissioned by Shimadzu headquarters and functions as a European base for core technology R&D as well as collecting and providing technical information on a contract basis and for other Shimadzu companies.