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July 17, 2018 | Tom Ballard

KLA-Tencor Corporation acquires Oak Ridge-based Nanomechanics Inc.

An Oak Ridge-based technology company has been acquired by KLA-Tencor Corporation, the leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries.

The transaction to purchase Nanomechanics Inc. (NMI), announced in an email yesterday, was completed on July 12. The company has been the focus of a number of articles on including a two-part series (Part 1 and Part 2) on Warren Oliver, a well-known name in the field of nanotechnology and one of the Founders of the company.

Nanomechanics manufactures equipment to understand the mechanical properties of materials. In 2016, it won a “Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence” that was presented at the State of Tennessee’s annual economic and community development conference. In 2013, Nanomechanics won one of the prestigious “R&D 100 Awards” outright and was named on a second one with former owner and customer Agilent Technologies. The award on which the company was lead was “TuffTek,” a materials science application. The shared award was for “Express Test (Electronic Instrumentation),” an electronic instrumentation technology.

“The NMI products are complementary to our Nano Indenter G200™ product, recently acquired from Keysight Technologies,” Brian Crawford, Director of Business Development for KLA-Tencor’s Surface Metrology Group, wrote in the email. “The acquisition extends KLA-Tencor’s nanomechanical testing solutions to include the iNano™, iMicro™, Gemini™, NanoFlip™, InSEM™ and InSEM™ HT products.”

KLA-Tencor said the acquisition will enable it to better serve the company’s customers by:

  • Increased global support for NMI which is joining a larger team with offices around the world;
  • The combination of NMI’s R&D team with KLA-Tencor, a company that invests heavily in R&D; and
  • The reuniting of Oliver and the NMI team with the Nano Indenter G200™.

“Over the next 30 to 45 days, we will be working through the integration of NMI and KLA-Tencor,” Crawford wrote. “It is our priority to ensure that you (our customers) continue to receive a high level of support during and after this transition period.”

We also posted this 2012 article that described the evolution at Nanomechanics since it was founded Oliver and John Pethica as Nano Instruments in 1983. The latter was acquired in 1998 by MTS Systems Corporation and again in 2008 by Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara, CA. Nanomechanics was established in 2009 after the team exited Agilent.

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