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Nikon Expands Its Eclipse Line Of Industrial Microscope Imaging Solutions

June 20, 2005

New LV Series is a Modular Solution for Industrial Inspection

MELVILLE, N.Y., June 20, 2005 -- Nikon Instruments, Inc., (http://www.nikoninstruments.com) a world leader in the development of advanced optical technology for microscopy, announced a new series of innovative products designed for industrial measuring and image analysis. The new Nikon ECLIPSE LV series includes the ECLIPSE LV150, LV150A (with automated nosepiece) and the ECLIPSE LV100D (episcopic/diascopic illumination) microscopes.

These new microscopes address the need for microscopy measuring solutions at the next level of precision to keep up with higher performance demands in the semiconductor and medical device markets, the rapid development of new materials, and the inspection requirements of components with widely varying dimensions.

"The LV series can be custom configured for different sample sizes," said Mike Metzger, Nikon general manager, Industrial Department, Nikon Instruments. "Most parts requiring inspection today are not the traditional polished metallurgical samples. The materials under test are a wide variety of different sizes, shapes and materials and all demand creative new approaches to traditional microscopy. The new ECLIPSE LV series is our solution to that problem."

Unmatched Versatility
The modular design of the ECLIPSE LV series allows an unprecedented level of versatility and flexibility that enables it to cover a wide variety of products and applications extending from development and quality control to manufacturing inspection. The products provide superb performance when inspecting semiconductors, flat panel displays, packages, electronics substrates, materials, medical devices, and a variety of other samples. The LV series microscopes can accommodate sample heights from 47 mm to 82mm by inserting a column riser between the main body and arm of the microscope. This feature is particularly useful for viewing the surface of precision molds, optical materials and other thick samples.

In addition, the LV series microscopes easily accepts industry supplied stages allowing the microscopes to handle even taller samples up to 116.5mm thereby enabling the observation of fiber ends and another tools while taking advantage of a robust 3rd party supplier market. The LV series features an extensive range of Nikon industrial stages and accessories. Users can select suitable models based on sample and staged stroke. All stages are highly durable with a new triple plate design.

Extended Vision Capability
A wide variety of observation methods is available with the ECLIPSE LV series. First order compensator, UV polarizing, and epi-fluorescence -- in addition to brightfield, darkfield, DIC and simple polarizing techniques are all available.

The universal epi-illuminator enables brightfield, darkfield, simple polarizing and DIC observations. The LV series microscopes automatically adjust to the proper optical technique. Field and aperture diaphragms are automatically opened when the observation is switched from brightfield to darkfield, and return to their original position when switched back to brightfield.

Two new light sources have been developed for the LV series microscopes. A high- intensity, low-power consumption white halogen light source, and an adjustable high intensity mercury fiber light source. These two new light sources contribute to the compact design of the microscopes; enhance observation and contribute to ease of use.

Outstanding Optical Performance
Nikon objective lenses feature high NA, long working distances and extended wavelength transmission range. The new CFI Plan Fluor series covers transition wavelength ranges up to UV. These lenses are used for various research, analysis and examination procedures. Only one kind of objective lens is needed for brightfield, darkfield, and other observation techniques. These objectives offer high resolution and are easy to use, and can be combined not only with the LV series microscopes, but also with other Nikon equipment for even greater versatility.

The LV series also supports Nikon's recently announced DS-2M camera series, the newest addition to the Digital Sight family of digital photomicrographic camera systems. The DS-2M models offer high frame rates and increased sensitivity in a 2 million pixel 1/2 inch format CCD. Specifically designed for the LV series, the unique and highly ergonomic tilting body tube with integrated photo tube, allows viewing and digital documentation and measuring capabilities simultaneously. In addition, the new reflected light illuminator is easier to use and incorporates a smart quick change mechanism that controls the illuminator apertures automatically when changing from brightfield to darkfield or epi-fluorescence.

Together with the L1 or U1 Digital Sight camera controllers, these versatile systems are ideally suited for industrial applications including research & development, quality assurance, and high resolution materials inspection.

The DS-2M's superior progressive scan motion picture performance enables video rate picture display that is comparable to an analog CCD camera for accurate focus and alignment of the sample. The system supports three types of camera heads including a color CCD model DS-2Mv, a cooled monochrome type DS-2MBWc, and monochrome type DS-2MBW for brightfield, darkfield, fluorescence and many other microscopy techniques. The DS-2M (2 megapixel - fast transfer) camera heads, original DS-5M (5 megapixel high-resolution) models and L1 or U1 control units are all interchangeable and can be configured by the user for a variety of applications.

The CFI60 series of Nikon objectives now includes the CFI L Plan EPI CR series of objective lenses designed to cope with the thin coverglass used in LCDs, and similar highly integrated, dense devices. Coverglass correction can be made from 0 mm up to 1.3mm with the correction ring. The series features 20X, 50x, and two correction ranges of 100x objective lenses (0.0- 0.7mm and 0.6-1.3mm). Each lens in the series offers high NA while enabling high contrast imaging of patterns free of distortion caused by the effects of a coverglass in the system.

The LV100D (episcopic/diascopic illumination) microscope features an integrated fly-eye lens that breaks transmitted light into many component images. The lens evenly illuminates the back aperture of the objective lens to provide consistent illumination to the outside edges of the sample field of view.

About Nikon Instruments Inc.
Nikon Instruments Inc., is a global leader in the development of advanced optical technology. Its product line includes microscopy equipment, digital imaging, precision measuring and semiconductor wafer-handling equipment. Nikon is committed to providing technologically advanced instruments that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Nikon combines state-of-the-art capabilities with innovative designs to produce optically superior, ergonomically friendly products for cutting-edge scientific research, medical and industrial applications. Product related inquiries can be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.

CONTACT: Nicole Mudloff of Peppercom, +1-212-931-6168, nmudloff@peppercom.com, for Nikon Instruments Inc.

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Products: Eclipse LV150N , Eclipse LV100ND