Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)
Winograd, Nicholas Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Dynamic SIMS
- Static SIMS
- Primary ions, imaging, and the emergence of cluster SIMS
- Molecular depth profiling
- Trends and future developments
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A surface analysis method for the chemical characterization of multicomponent solids and solid surfaces in many different fields. The powerful capabilities of secondary ion mass spectrometry are particularly needed as the composition of target materials becomes more sophisticated. The technique employs an energetic primary ion beam to remove or sputter atomic or molecular species from the sample. Those species that become ionized, either negatively or positively, during the collision can be detected using mass spectrometry. The sputtered ions constitute the secondary ion beam, leading to the name of the method. The power of this approach lies in the fact that the sputtered material can be analyzed with extraordinarily high chemical specificity. SIMS imaging and SIMS depth profiling, as explained below, are the two most powerful operational modes that distinguish it from other techniques. The SIMS technique is inherently destructive, since part of the sample is transported into the detector system. The kinetic energy of the primary ion beam is generally greater than several hundred electronvolts, and certainly greater than typical bond strengths, which are of the order of a few electronvolts. As a consequence, the material that is sputtered retains some chemical representation of the sample, but often contains fragment components. Moreover, the percent of neutral particles that is actually converted into measurable ions is often very small, sometimes less than 1 in 10,000. See also: Ion; Ion sources; Mass spectrometry; Sputtering
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information