The Cressington company was originally formed in 1973 to offer a product design service in the field of high vacuum coating. In 1977 the company commenced manufacturing and marketing a range of products.
These early coating products were designed to deposit ultra-thin layers for sample preparation in transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The compact electron beam (EB) evaporation sources, ultra-stable EB power supplies and modular freeze-etch accessory were intended primarily for use in molecular biology research. They also found applications in the development of foods and paints.
When Cressington moved on from modular accessories to manufacturing complete equipment it was in the field of freeze-etch. The first complete freeze-etch system (a CFE-40) was delivered to Northwestern University in Evanston, Il in 1986.
In 1991 Cressington moved into the wider market of coating for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with the introduction of the desktop "108" series of coaters. These efficient low vacuum sputter coaters and carbon evaporators proved extremely popular. They have been improved and developed over time and still sell in large numbers.
The introduction of the Cressington 108 coater range highlighted the need for an accurate and inexpensive film thickness monitor. This requirement was met successfully by the development of the MTM-10. More than 30% of Cressington's desktop low vacuum coaters are supplied with a thickness monitor.
In 1993 the desktop coater range was expanded to include a high vacuum sputter coater (208HR) and a high vacuum carbon evaporator (208C). With the increased use of high resolution FE-SEM the market for these coaters is still growing.
1999 saw the introduction of a new coater with the popular 12" chamber size (308R). The highly adaptable format of the 308R immediately found applications in advanced sample preparation for FE-SEM and TEM and in many areas of thin film R & D. This coater was unusual in being able to combine sputtering and high vacuum evaporation in a single vacuum cycle.