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

The Organic surface analytics divides into two banches:

  • the ToF-SIMS facility that comprises ~ 20 internal and external users from academia and industry, and proposes analytical service to Swiss and European industries.
  • the ToF-SIMS research and development pole that includes fundamental and applied research on a wide range of devices and materials on one hand, and state-of-the -art ToF-SIMS methodology & technology development on the other hand.

Scientific Research

The group research focuses on the chemical (elemental and molecular) characterization of functional surfaces and materials. Own and collaborative research is performed on a wide range of organic functional materials, biological materials and organic devices. The main fields of applications are Molecular Electronics, Functional Polymers, Bio-medical applications and Toxicity in bio-materials (see more).

Service to Industry

In accordance to the general mission of Empa, the ToF-SIMS group offers high-quality analytical services to Swiss and European Industries who need chemical characterization of surfaces, interfaces or materials. Product quality, fabrication processes, pre-treatments, stability within specific conditions or aging can be evaluated qualitatively and semi-quantitatively (comparative analysis). The main applications encountered in this activity are the following:

- Surface and interface quality control

- Surface contamination, delamination, corrosion, etc

- Thin film analysis

- Diffusion processes


Examples of ToF-SIMS analytical measurements, within the various operational modes can be found under what is ToF-SIMS?

Submit a service request.

What is ToF-SIMS ?

Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is a versatile analytical technique that provides detailed information on the chemical composition of the uppermost monolayers of a surface (see more).

The different ToF-SIMS modes of operation include:

Spectrometry: Chemical compositional analysis of homogeneous materials surfaces.

Imaging: 2D chemical mapping of hetero-structured or micro-fabricated materials surfaces.

Depth Profiling: In-depth chemical analysis of materials from surface to bulk.

3D chemical analysis: 3D chemical mapping of hetero-structured or micro-fabricated materials or devices.