About us

Our company, founded in March 2006, provides tools for analysis, thin film deposition, measurement and control applications from market-leading suppliers. We focus on research, development and process control in the materials science, energy research and semiconductor markets. We have a significant breadth of product offering, including the World market leading thin film metrology company k-Space Associates, Inc. and our 15+ year relationship has included 9 Distributor of the Year awards.

Products and services

k-Space Associates, Inc.

In-situ thin film metrology

European sales partner.

Staib Instruments GmbH

Products for RHEED and surface analysis

UK & Ireland sales partner.

Thought for the month

"There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen" Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. 1870 – 1924


RTA Instruments Ltd
Back Lane,
Monks Eleigh
United Kingdom

E: sales at rta-instruments.com

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Pending material shortages?

A Geological Society meeting recently discussed the issues surrounding the shortages of minerals. The shortage of rare-earth elements over the past year being a case in point. China, responsible for more than 90% of the world's supply of these elements, prioritized its own economy's demand and started to limit export and worldwide disruptions ensued. Interestingly the EU has drawn up a list of fourteen economically important raw materials that are subject to a higher risk of supply interruption. As well as the rare earth elements the list includes Ge, In, Ga, Sb, Ta, and Be. The EU will be monitoring material availability and discussing actions as required.

The geologists do have concerns over the limits to material availability but this stems not so much from the fear that resources will run out. The so called "peak metal", the anticipated turning point from globally increasing to decreasing production when minable deposits become scarce, is not yet in their view on the horizon. The bigger issues being demand surges coming up against political/monopolistic actions by governments or companies thus causing bottlenecks and shortages. Building more mines is one approach but the social and environmental consequences are non-trivial.

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