Phase Focus | About Our Company
Phasefocus brings to multiple markets a range of products and services based on its proprietary Phasefocus Virtual Lens®
phasefocus, phase focus, Live Cell Imaging, Ophthalmic Metrology, Electron Microscopy, virtual lens
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About Our Company

Our Company

Phasefocus brings to multiple markets a range of products and services based on its proprietary Phasefocus Virtual Lens® – a disruptive technology that is revolutionising the performance of imaging instrumentation and bringing new user value to a wide range of analytical applications from label-free cell imaging and quantitative electron phase microscopy to ophthalmic lens metrology and beyond.

The Virtual Lens enables new applications and novel analytical capabilities in markets as diverse as life sciences and engineering metrology, and in multiple wavelength regimes – visible light, X-ray, electron, and more. By transferring the task of image formation from hardware components to a computer programme, geometric restrictions and image infidelities imposed by imperfect physical focussing devices can be eliminated. Moreover, information-rich phase data lost by conventional detectors that are sensitive only to illumination intensity is recovered.


The Phasefocus Virtual Lens enables observation and analysis of materials, processes and products at the nano scale in new ways, and with unprecedented clarity and accuracy.

Board of Directors

Dr. Paul Atherton


Paul is a successful serial technology entrepreneur who focuses on start up companies from UK universities. He co-founded Queensgate Instruments in 1978 whilst studying for a PhD in astrophysics, and was Managing Director from 1987 until its sale in March 2000 for more than $200 million. Paul was Chairman of C2V until November 2009 when it was acquired by Thermo-Fisher; was founder and Chairman of Midaz Lasers until July 2012 when it was sold to Coherent Ltd.; and was an Angel Investor in Natural Motion which he supported through 5 investment rounds until its sale to Zynga for $527 million in February 2014. Paul is a Non Executive Director of two Venture Capital Funds: Imperial Innovations PLC, and Sussex Place Ventures. He is founder and  Executive Chairman of Nexeon Ltd. which has raised more than £55 million of venture capital investment; Chairman of NanoVentures Ltd.; and a Director of Infinitesima Ltd. He has a PhD in Physics from Imperial College and an MBA from the London Business School (of which he was a Governor for 6 years). Paul is a former President of the European Society for Precision Engineering & Nanotechnology, and was made a Fellow of London Business School in 2013.

Dr. Martin Humphry

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Martin was appointed CEO in March 2016 after previously holding the position of Phasefocus’ CTO.  Following the award of his PhD in the area of nanotechnology instrumentation, Martin was appointed post-doctoral research fellow at Nottingham University, and founded and led a spin-out company to commercialise a novel scanning probe microscope technology. An inventor on a number of the Phasefocus’ patent applications, Martin assumed successively higher levels of responsibility since he joined the company, including oversight of all of its product development and R&D activities.

Dr. Ian Pykett

Chief Financial Officer and Director

Having led Phasefocus as CEO since its formation in 2006, Ian moved into the role of CFO in March 2016.  He was previously CTO of the high-tech instrumentation firm Intermagnetics General Corporation, acquired by Philips for €1 billion in 2006. There he grew a three-person R&D group into an energy technology spin-out subsidiary valued at £130 million that was subsequently acquired by Furukawa Electric Company Ltd. Earlier, as a founding director and CEO of Advanced NMR Systems, Inc., he secured a development agreement with GE Medical Systems; increased the company’s valuation after flotation 11-fold to $75 million; and received the UK Rank Prize for the first commercialisation of the technology that now underpins functional MRI brain imaging. A graduate of the universities of London, Birmingham and Nottingham, Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

Mr. Charles Holroyd

Non-Executive Director

Charles is Group Business Development Director of Oxford Instruments plc, a £350 million-turnover LSE-listed manufacturer of high-technology instrumentation, with responsibility for (among other things) acquisitions, divestments and joint ventures. Previously, Charles was Managing Director of the Oxford Instruments Analytical business unit, as well as being responsible for Oxford Instruments’ commercial activities and brand development in Brazil, Russia, India and China. He has a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Mr. David Baynes

Non-Executive Director

David is Chief Operating Office of IP Group plc, a Phasefocus investor. He was appointed to IP Group’s board in March 2014 following IP Group’s acquisition of Fusion IP plc, for which David was a founding director and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, David worked at Celsis International plc from its incorporation to its flotation on the full list of the London Stock Exchange in July 1993;  Toad plc (now 21st Century Technology PLC), which he co-founded, and was responsible for taking the company from start-up to a full listing on the London Stock Exchange; Whereonearth Limited and Codemasters Limited.

Dr. Duncan White

Non-Executive Director

Duncan is an investment analyst at Ombu Group, a Phasefocus investor, and has several years of experience developing, commercialising and financing advanced technologies in the industrial, energy and healthcare sectors. Previously, Duncan was at Rothschild Group, London where he worked as part of the mergers and acquisitions team. Duncan graduated with a Masters in Chemistry (MChem) from the University of Edinburgh, a DPhil in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge and has completed a fellowship at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University.


  • Synergy
  • DMBU
  • Viking Fund
  • IP Group
  • White Rose University Consortium
  • Braveheart Investment Group
  • South Yorkshire Investment Fund

If you would like to find out more about any of our products or services, don't hesitate to get in touch.