TOF.SIMS 5 Mass Spectrometer


The IONTOF TOF.SIMS 5 data source is a time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer and powerful surface analysis tool used to investigate scientific questions in biological, environmental, and energy research. Among the most sensitive of surface analysis tools, it uses a high-vacuum technique with parts-per-million- to parts-per-billion-level detection limits. The sample surface is bombarded with energetic (normally 10–30 keV) primary ions and the secondary ions generated by this process are separated and detected with a ToF analyzer. The mass spectra provide critical information about elemental, isotopic, and molecular components of the sample surface.

The EMSL ToF-SIMS instrument is equipped with an Argon cluster ion (Arn+) gun, a liquid metal ion gun with Bin+ sources, and a Cs+/O2+ sputter ion gun. The capabilities include surface spectroscopy with high sensitivity and mass resolution, surface imaging with high lateral resolution, depth profiling with high-depth resolution, and three-dimensional (3-D) imaging. The ability to provide cluster primary ions, such as Bin+, enables EMSL users to obtain substantial improvements in detection of molecular ions, especially in organic and biological samples. The Arn+ ion gun can provide ultimate high mass sensitivity, superior imaging, and a powerful organic sputter depth profiling capability. Low primary ion energy and low ion dose density settings allow surface analysis without significant surface alteration. The system is equipped with an antechamber and a glove box for sample transfer under a controlled environment. 

Data Source Contributions

Instrument Data Source Profile

Instrument Name:    TOF.SIMS 5 Mass Spectrometer

Model:                        IONTOF SIMS 5

Platform Type:          Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (TOF-MS), TOF

Data Acquisition:      Surface spectroscopy, 3D imaging, and depth profile analysis. *New capabilities include in situ liquid SIMS

Software:                   SurfaceLab

Method Taxon:          Mass Spectrometry, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

                                    Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS)

Topic Areas:              OmicsEcosystem InterfacesBiogeochemical Transformations


Explore this capability and more at EMSL's Chemical Imaging resources page under Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry


Federal Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by the Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate (EBSD) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a multiprogram national laboratory managed by the Battelle Memorial Institute, operating under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contract DE-AC05-76RL01830. User capabilities described here reflect collaborations with the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE Office of Science (SC-3) user facility operating under the Contract No. DE-AC05-76RL01830.

Terms of Use

Recommendation guidelines provided by the DOE Office of Science can be accessed at the SC Funding Opportunities & Acknowledgements homepage. For additional information regarding user capability data release, visit the SC Digital Data Management Resources at User Facilities for more information.

EMSL Funding Acknowledgment

Scientists who publish results of research using EMSL resources, capabilities, and resulting data are required to include an acknowledgment of EMSL Policies in any publications. Learn more about user facility data management resources at the Office of Science Program page.

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The Phenotypic Response of the Soil Microbiome to Environmental Perturbations Project (Soil Microbiome SFA) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Genomic Sciences Program Science Focus Area (SFA) Project operating under the Environmental Microbiome Science Research Area. The Soil Microbiome...

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Arunima Bhattacharjee
Lindsey N. Anderson
William C Nelson
Ari Jumpponen
Janet K. Jansson
Kirsten Hofmockel
Dr Christopher R Anderton
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Lindsey Anderson’s research has been dedicated to the identification and characterization of novel, targeted and non-targeted, functional metabolic interactions using a high-throughput systems biology and computational biology approach. Her expertise in functional metabolism and multidisciplinary...

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