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Dynamic Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS)

Dynamic Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS/DSIMS Analysis) Testing Technique

SIMS provides the elemental composition of materials from the surface to depths of 100 microns and beyond.

The detection sensitivity of the technique is in the ppm – ppb range for all elements from H – U. SIMS involves sputtering of an identifiable area on the sample with a beam of primary ions.  The resulting secondary ions are mass-analyzed to produce mass spectra, depth profiles or chemical maps of the sample area.

  • Monitoring of elemental composition with ppm – ppb sensitivity – allows ready identification of dopants, process contaminants, impurities and surface treatments
  • Depth profiling from surface to depths of tens of microns- provides characterization of layer structures, buried features and interfaces
  • Chemical mapping showing feature sizes down to <1 micron – provides clear diagnosis of fault areas
  • Retrospective 3D analysis provides chemical maps and area-selected depth profiles from complex materials
  • Cross sectional analysis gives extended information through a structure, particularly effective on complex, thick layer materials.

Typical Applications

  • Quantitative depth profiling of dopants & impurities in semiconductor substrates
  • Small area profiling of semiconductor device features
  • Compositional analysis of glass layer structures
  • In-depth investigation of tribological surfaces including wear scars.

Typical Industries using SIMS

  • Semiconductor Wafer and Device Manufacturers
  • Electronics
  • Photonics
  • Solar Energy
  • Glass
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Healthcare
  • Medical Devices

SIMS - At a Glance

    • Information: All elements and isotopes, quantification in some cases
    • Detection limits: ppm - ppb range or lower for some elements
    • Area Analysed: From ~1mm x 1mm to ~10µm x 10µm
    • Sampling Depth: ~1nm
    • Imaging: Yes
    • Image Resolution: <1µm
    • Data Output: Mass spectra, depth profiles and images