Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

Course Objectives

  • Understand the principles of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).
  • Become familiar with the different types of instrumentation.
  • Learn how qualitative and quantitative analysis can be achieved despite mass interferences and artifacts.
  • Know how SIMS can be applied to many different fields.

Course Description

A brief history of SIMS is followed by a comparison of SIMS with other commonly used analytical techniques (AES, XPS, RBS, and TEM).

The SIMS process is examined. Sputtering, sputtering yield, secondary ion yield, secondary ion energy distribution, and information depth are discussed. Static sputtering versus dynamic sputtering is addressed.

The instrumentation commonly used is discussed. The ion source, ion optics, mass analyzer, detector, and vacuum system are described with emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches to mass separation (magnetic sector, quadrupole, and time-of-flight analyzers).

Analysis considerations include choice of primary ion species and energy, primary beam angle of incidence, secondary ion species monitored, mass resolution, and gating required to achieve the desired sensitivity, depth resolution, and lateral resolution.

The methods of converting qualitative SIMS data into quantitative results are discussed. Procedures for obtaining quantitative standards are presented. The impact of matrix effects and artifacts on the quantitative process is described.

Examples of the various types of SIMS data (mass spectra, ion images, depth profiles, and line scans) are given. Applications will be discussed for semiconductors, insulators, metals, minerals, and polymers.

Course Materials

Course Notes

Course Cost: $790

Who should attend?

Scientists, engineers, technicians, and others who desire a practical, current understanding of the acquisition and interpretation of SIMS data.


Fred Stevie
North Carolina State University, Senior Researcher