Nanoscale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

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Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS or nano secondary ion mass spectrometry) is an imaging secondary ion mass spectrometer used to measure the isotopic distribution of elements in all types of samples, routinely achieving 100 nm spatial resolution. It is capable of detecting isotopes of almost every element in the periodic table from hydrogen to Uranium at ppm or ppb levels depending upon the element.Typical applications include trace or light element mapping and spatially resolved isotopic ratio measurements. It can be an extremely powerful method for understanding the dynamics of processes by stable isotope labelling in materials across all scientific disciplines. It is also one of the few techniques available that can spatially resolve hydrogen and deuterium distributions.

ICAM equipment includes:

  • Cameca NanoSIMS 50L at The University of Manchester. A unique ion microprobe which optimises SIMS analysis performance at high lateral resolution.  Allows trace element (dopant) imaging and quantification even in electrically insulating materials. All elements, except noble gases, are accessible from hydrogen to plutonium.