SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry)

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS)

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) is technique used for surface material characterization of a solid specimen.   SIMS is recognized as the most sensitive elemental, isotopic and molecular composition analysis the uppermost atomic layers of the specimen.  The following are a few strength and limitations of SIMS:

  • The analysis consumes very small sample (essentially non-destructive)
  • High sensitivity means that specimens with low concentration levels (down to Parts Per Billion levels) can be analyzed with SIMS.
  • High sensitivity also allows for depth profiling of molecular and elemental abundances as well as isotopic ratios.
  • SIn situ analysis eliminates the need for complex sample preparation in most cases.

Because both atomic and molecular species are produced during sputtering of the samples, not all elements in all substrates (matrices) can be analyzed quantitatively.
IC-Failure-Analysis_SIMSTypical Applications:

  • Measuring quantitative depth profiling of dopants and impurities in semiconductor substrates
  • Identifying lubricants on magnetic hard discs
  • Profiling thickness of insulating films on glass
  • Mapping elemental and molecular patterned surfaces
  • Identifying compounds in thin organic films
  • Determining the extent of crosslinking in polymers