attocube systems AG

Company profile

attocube systems AG, a German company located in Munich, manufactures and provides ultra-high precision spatial positioning systems and complete probing tools which are particularly suitable for extreme environmental conditions. The company manufactures also user friendly low vibration closed cylce cryogenic systems for its scanning probe microscopes. Furthermore high precision all fibre based miniaturized Interferometric position sensing is the latest addition to the company competences in precision instrumentation manufacturing.

Company history

attocube’s roots are closely tied to Munich’s elite university LMU and its renowned Center of NanoScience (CeNS): already in 1995 Prof. Dr. Khaled Karrai – one of the founding members – realized the great potential of positioning devices able to perform at ultra-low temperatures. He widely patented that basic technology and started development works with one of his PhD students, Dirk Haft.

In 2001, Haft & Karrai founded the company attocube systems AG which was raised without any dept capital, thus making the company independent and free in its way of working and thinking. Sharing the vision of providing the research market with a reliable nano-precise positioning system capable of working under extreme conditions, they opened the first office in the heart of Munich consisting of a small development lab and a production facility.

In the following months, attocube started the production of low temperature positioners and scanning probe microscopes which represented a revolutionary advancement to the scientific market. First clients in the US, Japan, Korea, and Singapore approved the success of the highly innovative technology and secured profits already in the very first business year paving the way for further growth.

In 2004, the low-temperature confocal microscope “attoCFM” was introduced to the scientific world. Due to the tremendous success of its products, attocube expanded in order to accommodate the rising demand on the global market. In 2006, the company moved to new office premises counting already 20 employees by that time.

In the following years, attocube accelerated research & development in both the positioning and scanning-probe microscopy field and was subsequently rewarded with various awards, the most important ones being the Bavarian Innovation Award 2006 and the German Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurs in 2008.

In order to boost further growth and to benefit from synergies with a strong economic and technological partner, attocube and WITTENSTEIN AG – a Germany-based high-tech company – started a strategic partnership in 2008.

With the US scientific sector becoming a more and more important market for attocube, the company opened its first US-subsidiary in Berkeley, California 2008 followed by a second one in New York City in 2012.

During the following years, the success story continued: In 2009, attocube launched the world’s smallest, real-time interferometric sensor, the “attoFPS”. The attoFPS has meanwhile received the R&D 100 and CLEO Laser Award demonstrating its impact on semicon and other industry sectors. Only one year later, the attoDRY1000 – the world’s lowest vibration cryogen-free cooling system – was introduced to the market followed by the cost-effective, industrial line of nanopositioners “attoECS”, released in 2011.

Up to now, attocube has registered a permanent growth well above market average, reaching 25 times the turnover of its founding year 2001. Still, the company remains closely connected to the roots which made attocube the industry leader in inventing, developing and constructing outstanding solutions for both the scientific and industrial market. More than 50 employees are thrilled in turning first aspiring ideas into high quality products, all of them keeping the promise of ultimate precision.