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Dynamic Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (D-SIMS)
Dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (D-SIMS) is a technique used to analyze very low concentrations of elements in solid surfaces and thin films. The ability to detect up to ppb levels of trace impurities and dopants in solid materials makes D-SIMS the most sensitive surface analytical technique.
- Highest chemical sensitivity for trace elements and molecular fragments among all surface analysis techniques
- Able to detect all elements H to U!
- Powerful chemical mapping capability: each pixel in a map and each point in a depth profile contain a full spectrum of all mass peaks which can be selectively extracted
- Not quantitative without calibration to standards / reference of known compositional matrix
- Chemical bonding information limited to interpolation from molecular fragment types
Similar to ToF-SIMS, a D-SIMS system uses an applied beam of energetic sputtering ions or neutral atoms to scatter secondary ion fragments from a sample surface. These secondary ions are then analyzed according to their mass, generating spectra of peaks with characteristic mass / charge (m/z) ratios corresponding to the elements and molecular fragments present.
Unlike in ToF-SIMS, which is considered a static-SIMS technique, dynamic-SIMS measurements ablate substantial quantities of material from the surface. This generates ample signal for measurement and allows D-SIMS to readily quantify chemical composition even buried within the bulk of a sample. D-SIMS can produce acutely sensitive depth profiles of compositional distribution with nm-scale vertical resolution.
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