In secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), the specimen surface is removed layer by layer using an ion beam. A mass spectrometer enables the chemical characterization of the material that is removed.
- Quantitative concentration depth profiles in the range of a few nanometres to a ten or more micrometers in depth
- Chemical examination of boundary layers and surfaces
- Trace element detection with very high sensitivity (< 1 ppm)
- Detection of all elements (including hydrogen)
- Preparation of depth profiles, also on technical objects such as components or tools
Calibration of the concentrations is a special challenge in secondary ion mass spectroscopy since the raw intensities can fluctuate by many magnitudes due to matrix effects. It is made possible by applying the Cs+ cluster method and a pool of more than 300 different calibration materials that are used as adapted calibration standards. Our experience is especially extensive in the field of tribological protective films (DLC, metal-DLC nitride, carbide and so on) and optical multilayer systems with metallic and oxidic films in the thickness range of a few nanometres. Applications are found in all areas of mechanical engineering and tool construction, the automobile industry, the glass coating industry and the field of decorative films and consumer goods.