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. Time-of-Flight detection offers the parallel detection of all elements, isotopes, molecular fragments and even intact molecules present at the surface (Spectrometry), with a high mass resolution and an ultra-high sensitivity (ppm range). Via scanning over an area of interest, the acquisition of chemical maps (Imaging) can be achieved, with a lateral resolution in the range of 200nm and a complete spectrum recorded at every pixel of the image. Layer-by-layer erosion is also possible, allowing the in-depth tracking (Depth profiling) of chemical species in the bulk of the sample, with a depth resolution in the nanometer range. 3D chemical analysis can be performed on heterogeneous structures or micro-fabricated devices with the full spectral information at every voxel, further strengthened by the retrospective analysis capabilities, where spectra and images can be reconstructed from any user-defined region and for every mass of interest from the stored data. Within its various operation modes, ToF-SIMS can be used for all kind of conductive and non-conductive solid materials, including solid-state devices, organic materials and devices, and biological materials. Below are listed the different modes of operation illustrated by selected examples.



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.