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NanoSIMS 50L

SIMS Microprobe for Isotopic and Trace Element Analysis at High Spatial Resolution

The NanoSIMS 50L is a unique ion microprobe optimizing SIMS analysis performance at high lateral resolution. It is based on a coaxial optical design of the ion beam and the secondary ion extraction, and on an original magnetic sector mass analyzer with multicollection.
  • Product overview +

    The NanoSIMS 50L delivers simultaneously key performance metrics that can only be obtained individually with any other known instrument or technique:
    • High analysis spatial resolution (down to 50 nanometers)
    • High sensitivity (ppm in element imaging)
    • High Mass Resolution (M/dM),
    • Parallel acquisition of seven masses
    • Fast acquisition (DC mode, not pulsed)
    • Analysis of electrically insulating samples without problem.
    And thanks to recent improvements, isotope ratio reproducibility of a few tenths of permil can now be achieved.

    Extended fields of applications


    The NanoSIMS 50L opens new possibilities for coupling phylogenetic identity (with FISH or El-FISH) and metabolic function (using stable isotope labeling) of single cells in studies of mixed microbial communities from the environment.

    Cell biology:
    50nm resolution and isotopic ratio capabilities of the NanoSIMS 50L allow intra-cellular measurement of accumulations and fluxes of molecules labeled with stable isotopes

    Geology and space science:
    The NanoSIMS 50L allows precise isotopic and elemental measurements of deep sub-micron areas, grains or inclusions from interplanetary dust particles, meteorites, and mineral sections. Working in multiple Faraday Cup configuration and with spot size of a few µm, it delivers isotope ratio measurements with precision and external reproducibility down to a few tenths of permil.

    Materials Research:
    Thanks to its high sensitivity at high mass resolution (no mass interference), the NanoSIMS 50L allows trace element (dopant) imaging & quantification with 50nm SIMS lateral resolution, even in electrically insulating materials. All elements except noble gases are accessible, from hydrogen to plutonium.

    The NanoSIMS 50L was originally designed by Pr. G. Slodzian, University of Paris Sud, France.
  • See what the NanoSIMS can do +

  • Documentation & case studies +

  • View recents webinars +

    • Subcellular measurements of cell turnover and metabolism with NanoSIMS

      Wednesday, August 31, 2022

      Pr. Steinhauser reports on his investigation of metabolic processes including glucose, lipid and nucleic acid metabolism, and cell turnover with NanoSIMS.
      Duration: 49 minutes
      Click here to view
    • NanoSIMS Imaging of the Brain in Health and Disease

      Friday, June 3, 2022

      In this webinar, Dr Silvio Rizzoli will present NanoSIMS Imaging of the Brain in Health and Disease.
      Duration : 41 minutes
      Click here to view
    • Biological applications of NanoSIMS 50L: using isotopic tracer for studying cell origin, aging and renewal

      Tuesday, November 24, 2020

      Part 4 of our biology webinar series is illustrating the potential of labeling DNA with 15N stable isotope in order to study cell origin, age and renewal at single cell level. Francois Horreard, NanoSIMS Product Manager from CAMECA leads the discussion which will include:
      • making use of 15N-thymidine to label DNA, map and quantify the cell division cycle of single cells
      • answering the immortal (DNA) strand hypothesis by combining 15N DNA labeling, BrdU or IdU marking with pulse-chase experiments.
      • elucidating the origin of cardiomyocytes (from division of pre-existing cardiomyocytes or from stem cells ?) through the use of 15N-thymidine.
      • evidencing the existence of an age mosaicism across multiple scales from tissue, to cell and protein levels.
      The NanoSIMS is used to map tissues of mice fully 15N-labeled and to measure the long-term decay of label during 14N chasing.
      Duration : 43 minutes
      Click here to view
    • Biological applications of NanoSIMS 50L: using isotopic tracers in lipid studies

      Tuesday, May 26, 2020

      Part 3 of our biology webinar series is dedicated to the use of isotopic tracers in biology and its application to lipid studies.
      Francois Horreard, NanoSIMS Product Manager from CAMECA leads the discussion which will include:
      • making use of isotopes in SIMS analysis & building experiments based on the supply of one or several isotopically labeled compound(s) to living cells, tissues, plants or animals.
      • reviewing various sample preparation & analysis approach
      • taking advantage of the unique sensitivity/spatial resolution capabilities of the NanoSIMS 50L to map the distribution and fluxes of such isotopes with intracellular resolution (50 nanometers)
      • and more!
      Duration : 39 minutes
      Click here to view
    • Biological applications of NanoSIMS 50L: Nano-Object Imaging and Molecular Imaging with Elemental Tracers

      Tuesday, March 10, 2020

      Part 2 is dedicated to Nano-object imaging and molecular imaging with elemental tracers. After a short introduction to the specifics of biological sample preparation, a selection of recent studies using NanoSIMS are reviewed, including:
      • Food-grade TiO2 nanoparticle toxicology study
      • Silver nanoparticle interactions with green Alga
      • Multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI) of human breast tumors
      • and more!
      Presenter: François Horreard, CAMECA
      Duration: 27 minutes
      Click here to view
    • Biological applications of NanoSIMS 50L: Trace Elements and Metal-Based Drugs in Cells

      Monday, March 9, 2020

      Part 1 of the webinar "NanoSIMS 50L Applications in Cellular Biology" is dedicated to trace elements and metal-based drugs in cells. After a short introduction to the specifics of biological sample preparation, a selection of recent studies using NanoSIMS are reviewed, including:
      • Detection of copper in retina photoreceptors of zebrafish
      • Subcellular localisation of metals in Arabidopsis thaliana leaf cells
      • Mapping of cisplatin in ovarian cancer cultured cells
      • Anticancer gold-based drug development
      • and more!
      Presenter: François Horreard, CAMECA
      Duration : 31 minutes
      Click here to view
    • Optimization of the Detection Limits for Light Elements (H,C,O) using Dynamic SIMS

      Wednesday, January 22, 2020

      This webinar focuses on the optimization of the detection limits for light elements (hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atmospheric species) in silicon-based materials using dynamic SIMS. Information on H, C an d O low-level impurities introduced during processing and/or ageing is of major importance for a better understanding of semiconductor device lifetime and failure modes. Dynamic SIMS plays an important role in evaluating the concentration of impurities in solid samples because of its high sensitivity and depth profiling capabilities with high depth resolution and throughput, and the IMS 7f-Auto is designed to achieve optimized detection limits for light elements. Data presented in this webinar shows that significant improvement of H, C, and O detection limits in Si is achieved using the pre-sputtering method. Results obtained using multiple sample holders and the automated storage chamber are also presented.
      Duration : 25 minutes
      Click here to view
  • Video +

  • NanoSIMS users around the world +

  • Software +

    • WinCurve dataprocessing sofware

      Specifically developed for CAMECA SIMS instruments, WinCurve offers powerful data processing & visualization capabilities in a user-friendly environment.

      Keep Reading

    • WinImage Software
      WinImage II

      Specifically developed for CAMECA SIMS instruments, WinImage II offers powerful image visualization, processing & printing capabilities under PC-Windows™ Environment.

      Keep Reading

    • APM Software

      Automated Particle Measurement (APM) is CAMECA software tool allowing fast screening of millions of particles, particle detection and isotopic characterization.

      Keep Reading

  • Scientific Publications +

    An Excel spreadsheet compiling scientific research articles using NanoSIMS data is available for download. The articles are ordered by main applications as below and are easily searchable with Excel word search functions:
    • Planetary Sciences
    • Geology
    • Geochronology
    • Paleobiology / Evolution
    • Atmospheric particles / Aerosols
    • Biomineralization / Paleoclimate
    • Environment / Nanoparticles
    • Soils
    • Plants
    • Environmental Microbiology
    • Microbiome / Microbiology
    • Cell Biology
    • Pharmacology / Cosmetics
    • Materials
    • Methods / Instrumentation
    Click here to download the NanoSIMS scientific articles compilation spreadsheet

    Do not hesitate to contact us at if you can not access some pdf files by your own. You are also more than welcome to send us any missing references, pdf and supplements!
  • Upgrade kits +


    RF-plasma O-: High brightness O- primary ion source
    Replaces the duoplasmatron O- ion source. The higher brightness of the RF-plasma ion source permits to obtain similar O- beam density and lateral resolution as with the Cs+ source.

    D1 5-Slits_NS: Five D1 Aperture Diaphragm Slit
    Objective/immersion lens aperture strip increases the flexibility by increasing the diameter choice from 4 to 5 sizes.

    EXLIE Pre-implant_NS: Extreme low impact energy
    Ultra Low energy (25-500eV) sample bombardment allows pre-implantation/cleaning without consuming top surface of ultrathin samples.

    High Current Column_NS: High current primary ion column
    Allows Larger maximum Cs+ beam current (up to 20nA instead of a few nA).
    Using larger current permits to use multiple FCs instead of EM and improve isotope ratio reproducibility.


    Pfeiffer Turbo: Replacement of the three turbomolecular pumps
    Replace the three turbomolecular Varian/Agilent pumps by equivalent Pfeiffer models with excellent reliability.

    Load-lock Productivity Enhancement: Replacement of the standard turbopump if the load-lock
    For laboratories requiring unscheduled loadings and fast analysis, the standard 80 l/s turbopump of the load-lock can be replaced by a 300 l/s turbomolecular pump. The time needed to reach 1 E-6mbar in the load-lock is then typically reduced by x3 from ~120 min. to ~40 min.


    EM Preamplifier Gen2_NS: Five new EM preamplifier-discriminators
    Improvement of electronic ion pulse amplification for ion counting.
    More reliable settings and adjustments of discriminator/threshold for more reproducible isotopic ratios.

    Internal Multico Gen2_NS: New internal Multicollection
    Improved reliability, less short-circuits and blockages due to moveable cables.

    Low Noise Preamplifier_NS: Multico Geo Faraday : low noise preamplifier for FC#1
    Precise FC-EM isotope ratios.
    Lower noise/background for the Faraday cup resulting in better reproducibility and larger current detection range in FC.

    Multico Triple Faraday_NS: Multicollection triple Faraday
    Three FCs instead of one.
    Permits to measure isotopic ratios in multiple FCs with sub-permil reproducibility, generally recorded with higher (a few nA) and µm spot.

    NMR H/D_NS: Additional NMR probe for Hydrogen
    Stability of low mass spectrum lines.
    A third, dedicated NMR probe is added and improves the stability of analyzer magnetic field for high reproducibility on H ratios.


    Optical Microscope Gen2_NS: Improved Optical Microscope
    Replacement of illumination and optical microscope for more uniform lighting, digital camera, better resolution, numerical zoom.

    SED_NS: Secondary Electron Detector
    Secondary electron imaging for localization of small particles and good contrast to complement SIMS imaging.


    32b_Acquisition Board_NS: 32 bits counting board
    Replaces 16bit former version and is necessary for remote control through the internet using Team Viewer.
    No more saturation on SIMS images, faster scanning for less charging problems.


    PC automation_NS: PC Windows Control Upgrade
    The SUN system is no more supported and replaced by a PC Windows automation.
    New functions available under PC version.

    Software Version Update_NS: Updated Software version
    Latest PC automation version for removal of problems, new functions, and also required for some upgrades.

    Control Duplication_NS: Duplication of NanoSIMS control
    Control of the instrument from a separate operator room (<15 m), CAMECA designed keypad in both rooms.
    Allows optimized operation comfort (reduced noise, separate T°C control)

    Additional WinImage II_NS: Additional 64bit WinImage II Off-line PC Software Licence
    Image processing of SUN and PC data. Dongle for Multiple users.


    DUO Auto Valve_NS: Automation of Duoplasmatron leak valve
    Allows closing the leak valve at the end of unattended acquisition when using the duoplasmatron for longer use of duo source between dismounting for cleaning.

    Full MDA_NS: Aperture and Hexapole Automation
    Automation of slits & apertures for improvement of reproducibility, access by lower level users, chaining of cleaning/acquisition, comfort of use. 


    Sample-holders_Shuttles_NS: List of the sample-holders and the shuttles available at this link.
    Please contact the after-sales service for orders.

    Magnetic Transfer Rod:  Two magnetic transfer rods
    Transfer of the shuttle with its sample holder from the load-lock onto the analysis stage.

    You may also check the software versions available for your instrument.

    Don't hesitate to contact your local agent or the CAMECA sales department for more information.