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Static Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy


Static secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) is a surface analysis technique in which the specimen is bombarded with ions (generally Ar or Xe) in the energy range 1 - 5 keV and the ion fragments displaced from the surface are analyzed to reveal the composition of the surface layers. In principle this technique has much higher sensitivity and can achieve more detailed chemical speciation than either Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) or X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). However, quantification and interpretation of the spectra are more difficult than in the case of either AES or XPS because:

1. to achieve the high sensitivity more complex mass spectrometers and hence calibration procedures are required;
2. the total ion energy dose into the surface may exceed a damage threshold level so that the SIMS intensities and fragmentation patterns change from those characteristic of the original surface to those of a damaged surface;
3. surface charging and charge neutralization may affect the ionization process both in respect of the incident and sputtered ions.

The aim of the project is to produce SIMS or generalized calibration procedure together with appropriate operational protocols.


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Queens Road 33
United Kingdom

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