PRI was founded in 1980 by Dr. Charles A. Crider. Dr. Crider took his Ph.D. in electrical engineering device physics at Princeton University, with experimental work performed at Bell Laboratories. Initially the company designed and manufactured X-ray and UHV monochrometers and other items for synchrotrons. In 1985 the company began manufacturing reverse view LEED optics for low energy electron diffraction, UHV compatible stepper motors and motorized stages, and related products.
In its early years PRI worked closely with Physical Electronics, Inc. (PHI), a leading maker of surface analysis systems including front view LEED optics. PRI reverse view LEED optics were co-marketed with PHI and were sold with their LEED electronics. In 1993 PRI acquired the entire PHI LEED and HEED product line, enabling the company to furnish complete LEED and HEED systems. The company also provides continuing support and replacement parts for PHI manufactured front view LEED and HEED products.
In 1985 Dr. Crider's development of an in-vacuum stepper motor was cited by Research & Development magazine as one of the 100 most important new technological products of the year. Three sizes of these in-vacuum motors were developed and marketed. A special driver electronics unit for the motors was also developed, as well as a highly sucessful line of translation stages. These stages are fully UHV compatible, and permit sample positioning with sub-micron precision. With proper preparation the stages can be even used at cryogenic temperatures.
PRI products are found in leading research labs around the world. More than 300 LEED optics have been sold. Local references are available on request. Some of our customers are: