Our Part in Nanotechnology History
RMC Products is proud to have played a large part of the nanotechnology scene well before the popularization of the term. In fact, RMC is the continuing operation of the company that developed the first commercial ultramicrotome in 1953.
A BRIEF HISTORY: In the early 1950s, scientist Keith Porter and mechanical engineer Joseph Blum of The Rockefeller Institute developed the Porter-Blum MT-1 microtome, which is the precursor to today’s PT-PC PowerTome. The MT-1 was manually operated and cut thin sections of samples to 100 nm thickness or below. Thirty-five years later RMC bought that ultramicrotome product line from E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Co. and continued the development of a complete line of sample preparation equipment for electron microscopy and other ultra-high resolution microscopy.
By 2000, when RMC was purchased by Boeckeler Instruments, the product line included not only room temperature ultramicrotomes, but cryo sample preparation equipment as well, including high-pressure freezing machines, freeze substitution systems, a freeze fracture system and jet freezers. Additionally, RMC Products offers other sample preparation solutions including TEM stainers, tissue processors, glass knife makers and diamond knives.
NANOTECHNOLOGY MARKETS: As a highly internationalized company, RMC’s worldwide sales and service network reflects the current global market, stretching across Europe, Asia and the United States.
As for applications, RMC instruments are involved in a broad range of fields in nanoscale research, including those in material science and cell biology, with special emphasis in 3D sample prep:
- Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM/ATM)
- Cryo-Electron Microscopy of Vitreous Sections (CEMOVIS)
- Electron Microscopy (EM)
- Infrared Microscopy (IR)
- Light Microscopy (LM)
- Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
- Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
- Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (TOFSM)
PARENT COMPANY: Meanwhile, Boeckeler Instruments Inc., RMC’s parent company, has also been involved in nanotechnology field for some time. Established in 1942 as “Boeckeler Instruments Company” by Henry Boeckeler, the company manufactured mechanical micrometer heads accurate to +/- 10 millionths of an inch and first used in repairing the exterior aluminum skins of WWII military aircraft. This is still the finest micrometer head made in the world to this day.
Other products Boeckeler developed up to through the electronic age and beyond include digital micrometer heads and readouts, auto-positioning systems for microscope stages, and video measuring systems used in quality control applications. In 1993, the company streamlined its video marking ingenuity with the launch of the Pointmaker line of video markers used by a wide variety of presentation and broadcast markets – ranging from its 1995 national television debut in the O.J. Simpson courtroom trial, to annotating football plays on Monday Night football and providing iPad-controlled annotations for today’s presentations in classrooms, boardrooms, telemedicine, command and control, and emergency operations centers.