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Testing & Analysis Techniques

Dynamic Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS/DSIMS Analysis)

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