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You are here: Home » Testing & Characterization » Testing & Analysis Techniques » Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)

Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)

ToF-SIMS provides detailed chemical information from the surface of materials with unequivocal characterization of elements, chemical groups, polymers and surface additives.

The technique is non-destructive and highly surface specific with detection sensitivity in the ppm range for most elements.  ToF-SIMS involves sputtering the sample area of interest with a pulsed beam of bismuth primary ions (Bin+ where n = 1-3).  Elemental and molecular fragment ions formed at the surface are mass-analyzed to produce data in the form of mass spectra, chemical images or depth profiles.  A feature of ToF-SIMS is the high mass resolution which allows accurate mass analysis for clear identification of empirical formulae of unknown materials.

  • Elemental and molecular information from the uppermost 1-2 nm of the surface
  • Detailed chemical information and empirical formulae through the use of extensive library spectra and accurate mass analysis
  • Detection sensitivity in the ppm range for most elements
  • Chemical imaging of elements, their isotopes and molecular species with sub-micron lateral resolution
  • Retrospective mass spectral and imaging analysis of complex surfaces using Region Of Interest mode.

Typical Applications

  • Characterization of surface additives on polymer materials
  • Investigation of stains and rinse residues on semiconductor wafers and devices
  • Monitoring of surface cleaning treatments on medical devices
  • Chemical  imaging of contaminants and additives on polymer films.

Typical Industries using ToFSIMS

  • Healthcare
  • Medical Devices
  • Printing
  • Packaging
  • Semiconductors
  • Electronics
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive.

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  • ToFSIMS - At a Glance

    • Information: All elements and isotopes, chemical groups and polymers
    • Detection limits: ppm range for most elements
    • Area Analysed: From ~500µm x 500µm to ~10µm x 10µm, larger areas by stage scanning
    • Sampling Depth: ~1-2 nm
    • Imaging: Yes
    • Image Resolution: <1µm
    • Data Output: Mass spectra, depth profiles and images
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