May 12, 2016 | News & Notices Facilitating Micro Analysis Through Automation
Release of the AIM-9000 Infrared Microscope

Shimadzu AIM-9000 Infrared Microscope

Shimadzu Corporation announces the release of the AIM-9000 Infrared Microscope.
Along with an industry best-in-class 30,000:1 S/N ratio*, the instrument features an array of automated functionality, including the ability to automatically recognize up to 20 target measurement locations.

The development concept for the instrument is to make the measurement of microscopic contaminants simple and automatic. In addition to new functions such as simple-to-determine measurement range with the wide-field camera (option), automatic recognition of the target item, and automatic setting of the aperture, the AIM-9000 enables quick identification of unknown samples using the contaminant analysis program included as standard in the software. Furthermore, a S/N ratio x5 better than our existing product allows very high sensitivity measurements.

*S/N ratio... Signal to Noise ratio. The higher the S/N ratio, the smaller the effect of noise, which enables small peaks to be measured.

Background to the Development

An infrared microscope is designed to be used with a Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FTIR). Using the reflection and transmission of infrared light, the device can measure microscopic areas that cannot be measured by an FTIR alone. It is mainly used in micro analysis applications, such as identifying contaminants adhering to pharmaceuticals or observing contamination on electronic PCBs that cause contact failures. With the increasing importance of quality management, Shimadzu expects the market for infrared microscopes to grow by about 5% annually. Moreover, the number of analysts who are inexperienced in measurement techniques is growing and requests to perform measurements on ever finer samples quickly and easily is increasing.

In response to these demands, Shimadzu has released the AIM-9000 Infrared Microscope, providing superior measurement capabilities under the concept: "Finally, a wide view on micro sample analysis"


1. Achieves a S/N ratio x5 better than our existing product, and quickly determine a measurement range with a variable digital zoom that magnifies up to x330.

An industry-best S/N ratio of 30,000:1 offers excellent measurement of very small samples. When setting a sample, the stage moves down automatically to make it easy to insert or remove the sample. In addition, the AIM-9000 offers an optional wide-field camera that enables variable digital zooming from x1 to x5 magnification, and is equipped with a microscope camera with a variable digital zoom of x33 to x330 magnification. In total, the instrument offers a variable digital zoom feature with magnification ranging from a minimum of x1 to a maximum of x330. This provides for quick, easy discovery of extremely small defects.

2. Automatically sets measurement location and aperture.

After determining the measurement range, locations where contaminants or defects are believed to exist are automatically recognized with one click and the measurement aperture set automatically. Up to 20 locations can be checked and the aperture set up for recognition and measurement in a few seconds, significantly improving work efficiency. Visible observations and infrared measurements can be performed simultaneously, which is helpful when checking the measurement position.

3. Performs automated identification by contaminant analysis program.

Included as standard, the contaminant analysis program enables automatically performing analysis after acquiring the spectrum of a contaminant. The contaminant library uses Shimadzu's proprietary analysis algorithm, which offers a high hit rate, and identification results are displayed in just a few seconds without the need for the analyst to make decisions, such as determining the number of components. Adding libraries, such as the "Thermal-Damaged Plastics Library", released in January 2016, to the software enhances identification accuracy.

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Shimadzu AIM-9000 Infrared Microscope