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Washington State U start-up lands $740K in NSF funding for its affordable research microscope


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 26th, 2018

A start-up from Washington State University (WSU) has secured a $740,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop and commercialize an affordable, easy-to-use microscope.

The spectroscopic confocal optical profile (COP) microscope by Klar Scientific collects more information about materials in less time and at a lower cost than currently available microscopes. It uses an off-the-shelf digital CCD camera rather than the expensive light detector and optics used in typical confocal microscopes.

“For the first time, researchers everywhere will be able to purchase an affordable, portable microscope that can provide spectroscopic maps of their samples,” says Matthew McCluskey, founder of Klar Scientific and inventor of the COP microscope. “The images obtained by the microscope are outstanding and have already led to published articles and strong commercial interest.”

With the recent Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase-II grant from NSF, Klar Scientific will be able to build prototypes to accelerate the technology to the marketplace.

“The overall objective of the research in phase II is to develop a portable prototype COP microscope with optimized hardware, packaging, and acquisition and analysis software,” says Rick Lytel, CEO of Klar Scientific. “We are grateful for continuing NSF support of our research and our vision to provide customers with the first affordable, bench-side spectroscopic measurement instruments for their materials and device research.”

Source: WSU Insider

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