Introduction[edit | edit source]

Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is a technique used in materials science and surface science to analyze the composition of solid surfaces and thin films by sputtering the surface of the specimen with a focused primary ion beam and collecting and analyzing ejected secondary ions. These secondary ions are measured with a mass spectrometer to determine the elemental, isotopic, or molecular composition of the surface. SIMS is the most sensitive surface analysis technique, being able to detect elements present in the parts per billion range. - Wikipedia

SIMS Information[edit | edit source]

Queen's does not have the appropriate equipment to perform this procedure so samples were sent to the Surface Science Western Research Laboratory at Western University. There are two types of SIMS techniques: static (ion concentration measurements only in the surface layers) and dynamic (measurements of bulk concentrations). Dynamic SIMS was chosen in this case as depth profiles were needed. Also, due to the knocking out of ions the procedure is destructive (a crater is formed) so samples will not be returned. For this reason it is best to send as small a sample as possible. A flat surface is required to obtain the best lateral and depth resolution. The typical analyzed area size is 60µm for depth profiles, and 150µm for imaging. Samples must be <25 mm in diameter and preferably <5 mm thick.

Equipment Information[edit | edit source]

The Surface Science Lab uses a Cameca IMS-3f secondary ion mass spectrometer that has undergone significant electrical and computer interface upgrades.

Ordering Protocol[edit | edit source]

An Analysis Request Form must be completed to proceed however it is still highly recommended to contact the lab and explain in detail the specific request and information that can be obtained. Once confirmed, the samples must be shipped to the lab. The invoice for the tests will come by mail or e-mail.