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Graphene Enhanced SIMS, an innovative method for surface and ultra-thin film analysis using CAMECA SC Ultra
mass-spectra-of-ge-substrateA recent publication by Paweł Piotr Michałowski, Wawrzyniec Kaszub, Iwona Pasternak & Włodek Strupiński, researchers at Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME) and users of a CAMECA SC Ultra Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer describes Graphene Enhanced Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry -or GESIMS (pending European patent application no. EP 16461554.4), an innovative method greatly enhancing SIMS analytical performance for ultra thin films.
 
GESIMS comprises the steps of providing a graphene layer over the substrate surface and analazing ejected secondary anions through mass spectrometry. The graphene layer acts as a kind of filament that emits a lot of secondary electrons during the experiment which significantly increases the negative ionization probability and thus the intensity of the SIMS signal can be more than two orders of magnitude higher than that of a similar sample without graphene.
 
The method is particularly useful for the analysis of surfaces, 2D materials and ultra-thin films. The intensity of dopants and contamination signals can be enhanced up to 35 times, which approaches the detection limit of ~1015atoms/cm3 .

In this work all SIMS measurements were performed employing the CAMECA SC Ultra instrument at the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology, ITME, Warsaw, Poland.

-> Read the full article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07984-1

Top illustration: comparison of mass spectra of the germanium substrate with and without graphene layer for optimal GESIMS conditions,  demonstrating that the intensity of the SIMS signal can be enhanced more than two orders of magnitude.

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