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

The TOF-SIMS 5 by IONTOF provides detailed elemental and molecular information about a sample's surface, thin layer structure, and interfaces. That enables a complete three-dimensional analysis of a specimen.

Its unique design guarantees optimum performance in all fields of SIMS applications. The product line includes:

  • 4" version for sample sizes up to 100 mm in diameter
  • 8" version for sample sizes up to 200 mm in diameter
  • 12" version for sample sizes up to 300 mm in diameter

The instrument is basically equipped with a reflectron time-of-flight analyzer giving high secondary ion transmission with high mass resolution, an analysis column (liquid metal ion gun; BiMn alloy), a dual source column (O2 and Cs), a sample chamber with a 5-axis manipulator (x, y, z, rotation and tilt) for flexible navigation, a fast entry load-lock, charge compensation for the analysis of insulators, a secondary electron detector for SEM imaging, state-of-the-art vacuum system, and an extensive computer package for automation and data handling.

In our laboratory, the ToF-SIMS 5 is also equipped with argon (Ar) as additional sputter species in the dual source column and an integrable heating/cooling sample holder for controlled temperature experiments in a range of approximately -150 °C up to +500 °C.

The side view of the ToF-SIMS 5 device on the workbench of our laboratory. Behind it is the computer with two screens for data analysis

© Florian Fahrnberger


Figure 1: The Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer Series 5 by IONTOF in the working space of our laboratory.

Operation possibilities:

  • Surface spectrometry:
    • quasi non-destructive for the outer monolayers
    • information about elemental and molecular composition
    • sensitivity: parts per million (ppm) / parts per billion (ppb)
  • Surface imaging:
    • chemical surface mapping
    • lateral distribution of elements/molecules
    • lateral resolution: down to 50 nm
  • Depth profiling:
    • in-depth distribution analysis
    • elemental/molecular information
    • depth resolution: <1 nm
    • analytical distance from few nanometers (nm) to several micrometers (µm)
  • 3D analysis:
    • defect analysis (buried particles, diffusion channels,..)
    • material science (grain boundaries, diffusion,..)


Find more information on the manufacturer's website, iontof.com, opens an external URL in a new window.