Courbevoie Factory, 1960

The EdC site



(updated august 2011)


Homepage site EdC

french page  drapeau_france Gallery of photographs not contained in the book
The french book
1ere Couverture
English readers,

The "History of Cameca",  is now available,
 on line, in pdf version (31$.50)
or in bookstores (224$)

Shorter, but improved with respect to the french book, it is 
published in  the Vol. 167 of the Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics, Academic Press-Elsevier (IBSN 978-0-12-385985-3), pp.1-119

The AIEP english publication (Vol. 167)
History of Cameca AIEP publication

« Chambost, who retired from the Cameca company, has compiled a complete and fascinating account of the instruments developped by that company over the decades. The principal actors are brought vividly to life and the interplay of character and market forces emerges clearly. Very few of the companies in the area of charged particles optics have commissioned histories of their activities, and the Chambost effort is therefore all the more welcome, to be placed alongside "The story of European commercial electron microscopes" by A.Agar

Peter Hawkes, Preface to the vol.167 of the Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics.


For more than 50 years, Cameca remained a small company of approximately 200 employees involved in a small number of scientific instruments dedicated to material analysis, implementing electron beams and ion beams. The company was located in Courbevoie, in the Paris area. The predecessor of Cameca, Radio-Cinéma, was created in 1929 within the French group CSF (Compagnie Générale de la Télégraphie Sans Fil) just when the “talkies” were emerging. Maurice Ponte, chief of CSF, introduced the scientific instrumentation in the early 1950s. At the same time that the company withdrew from film activity in the late ’50s, it manufactured the electron probe prototype developed by Castaing that became in a sustainable way a major player in the electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) technique. From the late 1960s, Cameca gradually gained ground as the leader in magnetic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) instruments that it would develop in many different forms throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In 1987, Cameca left the Thomson-CSF group, became independent, and was eventually acquired by the U.S. holding company, Ametek. During the past decade, atomic probes became the third product line, next to EPMA and SIMS instruments.