TOF-SIMS (Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy) is a technique, which combines a high surface sensitivity to a very low detection limits. If equipped with a TOF (Time of Flight) - analyzer, the analysis of sensitive organic materials is possible with high mass resolution. Measured spectra contain elemental (all elements), isotopical and molecular (mass range 0 to ~2000 atomic mass unit) information about the sample. With the technique it is possible to generate image of the lateral distributions of ions at spatial resolutions better than 1 micrometer. 

  • Analyzing depth < 2 nm
  • Only qualitative analysis (with some exceptions)
  • Detection limit ppm - ppb range
  • All elements
  • Static SIMS- non-destructive analysis
  • Dynamic SIMS- Destructive depth profiling
  • Lateral resolution 1 micrometer (for metals 120 nm)
  • Spectral analysis complicated

Typical applications are 

  • Analysis of organic compounds at the surface
  • Trace element analysis
  • Polymer coatings
  • Surface defects