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Leica Microsystems

Leica Microsystems develops and manufactures microscopes and scientific instruments for the analysis of microstructures and nanostructures. Widely recognized for optical precision and innovative technology, the company is one of the market leaders in compound and stereo microscopy, digital microscopy, confocal laser scanning and super-resolution microscopy with related imaging systems, electron microscopy sample preparation, and surgical microscopy.

Leica and Science

Founded as Family Business

Founded as a family business in the nineteenth century, the company is now a global enterprise. Its leitmotif is “with the user, for the user”, put into words by Ernst Leitz I, the entrepreneur who led the business to world renown. A historically close collaboration with the scientific, medical, and industrial communities is the key to Leica Microsystems’ tradition of innovation. Drawing on users’ ideas and developing solutions tailored to meet their requirements, the company continually sets new standards in markets it serves. This also applies to the services Leica Microsystems provides customers with: The company offers expert technical services, but also application support for all application-related questions.

Product Portfolio

Users of Leica Microsystems’ instruments and services can be found in both clinical and life science research, several surgical specializations, disciplines associated with material sciences, the manufacturing industry, and forensics services as well as in classrooms around the world. Instruments and workflow solutions for electron microscopy sample preparation for life sciences and industrial applications alike complete the company’s product portfolio.

Leica Microsystems has seven major plants and product development sites located in Wetzlar and Mannheim (Germany), Vienna (Austria), Heerbrugg (Switzerland), Cambridge (UK), Shanghai (China), and Singapore. The company is represented in over 100 countries, has sales and service organizations in 20 countries, and an international network of distribution partners. Its headquarters are located in Wetzlar, Germany. Leica Microsystems is part of Danaher.

A History of Success

1847 - Foundation of Spencer Lens/American Optical Instruments in USA.
1849 - Carl Kellner establishes the "Optical Institute" in Wetzlar.
1853 - Foundation of the Bausch & Lomb Instruments Division in USA.
1869 - Ernst Leitz takes over the "Optical Institute" and renames the company Ernst Leitz.
1872 - Foundation of the precision engineering company R. Jung in Heidelberg.
1876 - Foundation of the optical company C. Reichert in Vienna.
1881 - The son of Charles Darwin, Horace, establishes the optical company "Cambridge Instruments" .
1907 - The 100.000th microscope is presented to Nobel prize winner Robert Koch.
1921 - Foundation of the optical company Wild Heerbrugg in Switzerland.
1972 - Beginning of cooperation between Leitz Wetzlar and Wild Heerbrugg.
1976 - Metals Research expanded and bought Cambridge Instruments (1st manufacturer of Scanning Electron Microscopes).
1981 - Foundation of the Wild Leitz group.
1986 - Takeover of Reichert-Jung by Cambridge Instruments.
1990 - The Wild Leitz and Cambridge Instruments groups merge to form the Leica group.
1993 - 1st Joint Venture Opening of the Leica group in China for specimen preparation.
2005 - Danaher Corporation acquires Leica Microsystems.
2006 - German Innovation Award for high-resolution microscope with 4PI technology.
2006 - Prof. Stefan Hell receives German Future Award from the German Federal President for the STED microscope

2012 – Leica Microsystems was awarded the Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Award 2012 as an overall winner and also received the MX Award 2012 in "Logistics and Operational Efficiency" category

2013 – The Scientist named the Leica SR GSD 3D the third innovative product

July 2014 – R&D Magazine’s “Oscar of Invention” for Leica TCS SP8 STED 3X: Voted among the 100 Most Innovative Technologies 2014.

August 2014 – Microscopy Today 2014 Innovation Award for Leica Microsystems’ Super-Resolution System Leica SR GSD 3D.

October 2014 – Father of Super-Resolution Stefan Hell awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

We operate internationally in three divisions

Life Science Division

Leica Microsystems’ Life Science Division supports the imaging needs of the scientific community with advanced innovation and technical expertise for the visualization, measurement and analysis of microstructures. Our strong focus on understanding scientific applications puts Leica Microsystems’ customers at the leading edge of science. We offer:

Industry Division

The Leica Microsystems Industry Division’s focus is to support customers’ pursuit of the highest quality end result by providing the best and most innovative imaging systems for their needs to see, measure and analyze the microstructures in routine and research industrial applications, in materials science and quality control, in forensic science investigations, and educational applications. We offer:

Medical Division

The Leica Microsystems Medical Division’s focus is to partner with and support micro-surgeons and their care of patients with the highest-quality, most innovative surgical microscope technology today and into the future. We offer:

Products with Former Brand Names

Leica Microsystems has a rich heritage in several prestigious brand names with a long tradition, including Leitz, Wild, Cambridge Instruments, Reichert-Jung and American Optical.

Many of the older instruments with former brand names are still in use in labs all over the world.

As spare parts availability allows, Leica Microsystems is pleased to offer service, repair and maintenance for these instruments with the same care as current products are serviced.

Please contact your local Leica Microsystems Representative for details.

  • Leitz WILD Heerbrugg
  • Cambridge Instruments
  • Reichert-Jung