Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy – SIMS

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) is used for the composition analysis of metals, semiconductors, polymers, biomaterials, minerals, rocks, and ceramics using a mass spectrometer. SIMS is the preferred tool for determining the composition of solid surfaces and thin films in testing labs.

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    Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry – SIMS Testing Services

    Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) is a tool for the composition analysis of metals, semiconductors, polymers, biomaterials, minerals, rocks, and ceramics. As the name suggests, SIMS uses a mass spectrometer to analyze secondary ions ejected after primary ions are bombarded on the sample surface. In the laboratory, SIMS can detect almost all elements in the periodic table, from Hydrogen to Uranium, in very low concentrations and with high lateral resolution. Thus, it is useful for dopants, impurities, and trace element analysis.

    Static and Dynamic SIMS are two modes differentiated by whether only the top layer of the solid or a depth (from nm to a few tens of micron) is probed. These modes are accomplished by changing the primary ion beam’s dose i.e. a low dose ion beam only knocks out atoms from the top monolayer while a high dose beam goes through several layers. Time-of-flight (ToF-SIMS), quadrupole, and magnetic sector mass spectrometers options are available in combination with modes.

    Our well-equipped testing labs perform SIMS analysis for our clients based in the USA and other parts of the world. We at Infinita Lab perform not only routine tests, but also custom tests designed in our laboratory as per the client’s specific requirements.

    Common Uses of SIMS

    • Contamination and impurities distribution in thin-film multilayer stacks
    • Depth profile of dopants (B, C, N) concentration in Si
    • Molecular species in organic materials
    • Isotopes and trace elements in minerals
    • Analysis of the defects at the interfaces in atomic layer systems
    • Composition analysis for III-V, II-VI, GaN, SiC, Si, GaAs, Diamond, Graphene, Biological, Organic Materials, Minerals, etc.

    SIMS Advantages

    • The only technique for direct detection of hydrogen and deuterium
    • High detection sensitivity approaching ppb, parts per billion
    • Covers elements from Hydrogen to Uranium
    • High mass resolution (dynamic range) for all materials, conducting or insulating
    • High lateral resolution (<50 nm)

    Limitations of SIMS

    • Quantification is complicated and requires standards
    • Chemical bonding information is not provided
    • Only materials that can be used under ultra-high vacuum
    • Destructive analysis

    Industries benefitted by SIMS analysis

    • Semiconductors
    • Nanotechnology
    • Additive Manufacturing
    • Advanced Materials
    • Automotive
    • Energy Storage and Batteries
    • LED and Display
    • Mining and Minerals
    • Biomaterials

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      FAQs on Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy – SIMS

      Where can I get SIMS analysis of materials done?

       Our network of material testing labs, spread across the USA, provides SIMS analysis services to identify the substance present on the sample’s surface and to detect defects and impurities.

      How much does scanning ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analysis cost?

      The cost of surface scans of materials using ToF-SIMS starts from $450/sample.

      What type of analysis is done using scanning ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)?

      Scanning ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is an imaging technique coupled with a spectrometer. It is used to obtain elemental, isotopic, and molecular information from solid samples. It is also used for depth profiling, imaging, and compositional analysis of surface defects and contaminants. 

      What is the difference between static and dynamic SIMS models?

      Static and dynamic SIMS models differ in the ion beam type, sample sputtering intensity, and the information obtained. Static SIMS, like ToF-SIMS, uses a low ion beam dose suitable to obtain compositional information on the sample’s outermost layer. 

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