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NanoSIMS Application in Material Research

Segregation and diffusion of elements in YAG (Yttrium Aluminium Garnet)

The NanoSIMS is used here to contribute to the understanding of the segregation and diffusion of elements in polycrystalline materials.

In the first example, the strategy is to make use of 18O stable isotope tracers in order to image and quantify the incorporation of oxygen.
Oxygen difusion in ceramicsA sintered transparent YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) is oxidized in a 18O2 atmosphere at 1400°C.
The 18O oxygen atoms diffuse inside the ceramics through the grain boundaries as evidenced from the two complementary images of 16O (base element of the oxide) and 18O (incorporated during the oxidation sequence).

Segregation of silicon dopant in YAG The second study shows the segregation of silicon dopant toward grain boundaries in YAG samples after sintering.

Upper row: the same silicon image is displayed in linear and logarithmic color scale, revealing the high sensitivity and dynamic range of NanoSIMS dopant imaging.

Lower row, left side: zoomed view of upper row.
Lower row, right side: another type of YAG sample showing dopant segregating to triple points.

The NanoSIMS offers unique capabilities of combining high lateral resolution and benchmark sensitivity for material characterization. It is the only instrument capable of imaging trace elements or isotopic enrichment down to 50nm resolution. Other technologies are limited in sensitivity (TEMS-EELS, EDS, Auger, TOF-SIMS,...) or lateral resolution (conventional SIMS, laser-ICPMS, SEM-EDS, Raman, XPS).

Data by courtesy of Dr. Hajime Haneda, NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan

NanoSIMS 50L



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