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  • Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)

    Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, TOF-SIMS, is a very sensitive surface analysis technology, which has the advantages of extremely low detection limit and high resolution. It can detect samples in 2-3 atomic layers and give two-dimensional and three-dimensional image information. At present, TOF-SIMS is mainly used for surface analysis of organic samples, such as organic analysis of biological drugs, contamination analysis of semiconductor materials, analysis of energy storage materials and identification of organic molecular fragments. With the improvement of technology, the analysis area is getting smaller and smaller, and TOF-SIMS gradually has an irreplaceable position in the analysis of material composition, doping and impurity contamination.

    Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)

    How does ToF-SIMS work?

    TOF-SIMS uses primary ions to excite the surface of the sample to produce extremely small amounts of secondary ions, and it is a very high-resolution measurement technology that determines the mass of the ions based on the time that the secondary ions fly to the detector due to different masses. Since the flight time of ions in TOF-SIMS only depends on their mass, a full spectrum can be obtained in one pulse, and the ion utilization rate is very high, which can realize almost non-destructive static analysis of the sample.

    Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)

    Modes of operation

    • Surface Spectrometry
      • Elemental and molecular information
      • Unlimited mass range
      • ppm/ppb sensitivity
      • Mass resolution > 10,000
    • Surface Chemical Imaging
      • Parallel mass detection
      • Lateral resolution < 100 nm
    • Depth Profiling
      • Depth resolution < 1nm
      • Thin layers from 1 nm to microns
      • Parallel mass detection

    Problems that TOF-SIMS can solve for you

    • Surface characterization of organic matter, surface distribution analysis of elements can be performed, with a resolution of 5-10 nm.
    • The H-U element can be qualitatively analyzed (standard sample is required for quantification), and the detection limit can reach ppm or lower concentration.
    • It can analyze organic matter and directly output the molecular formula of organic matter.
    • Identify the organic or inorganic layer on the surface of metal, glass, ceramic, film or powder.
    • Very small area analysis, the smallest area can reach a diameter of 80 nm.
    • Good depth resolution (0.1-1 nm), but the sputtering rate is very slow (<1 μm/H).
    • The three-dimensional image information of the sample can be given.
    • Isotope abundance analysis.
    • When the film on the surface of the product is too thin to use conventional tests for composition analysis, TOF-SIMS can be selected for analysis, and TOF-SIMS can be used to qualitatively analyze the composition of the film.
    • When there are problems such as delamination between the film layer and the substrate section, but no obvious traces of foreign matter can be observed, TOF-SIMS can be used to analyze the surface trace material composition to determine whether there is external contamination on the section. The detection limit is as high as ppm.


    • Destructive.
    • The sample must be solid and vacuum compatible.
    • The elements to be analyzed must be known.


    • The maximum size of the sample is 1×1×0.5 cm, which needs to be cut when the sample size is too large.
    • Samples need to be stored in a vacuum and the test surface is clearly marked.
    • When sampling, avoid the hands and sampling tools coming into contact with the position that needs to be tested, take off the sample and use vacuum packaging or other packaging that can isolate the external environment, so as to avoid external pollution affecting the analysis results.
    • The samples tested by TOF-SIMS are not limited by the conductivity, and the insulated samples can also be tested.
    • TOF-SIMS element analysis range H-U, including the elements and molecular states of organic and inorganic materials, the detection limit is ppm level.

    T,C&A Lab is a scientific research testing laboratory, providing TOF-SIMS analysis and testing services. The TOF-SIMS analysis and testing data will be issued in about 3-7 working days. If you need anything, please feel free to contact us.


    1. Xu, D.; et al. In situ and real-time ToF-SIMS analysis of light-induced chemical changes in perovskite CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3. Chemical Communications 54.43 (2018): 5434-5437.

    Note: this service is for Research Use Only and Not intended for clinical use.

    T,C & A LAB is an independent lab providing quality or custom testing, characterization and analysis of a variety of materials. Our engaged experts are ready to help you.

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