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Anal Chem. 2006 Jan 1;78(1):141-8.

Metal nanoparticle deposition for TOF-SIMS signal enhancement of polymers.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, 104 Chemistry Building, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.


A novel technique for improved time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectra of polymer ions is presented. This technique is a simple preparatory method, which involves deposition of a submonolayer coverage of metal nanoparticles on the surface of a polymer sample enabling an overall increase in characteristic polymer ions. This procedure gives spectra with enhanced intensity, a larger number of characteristic polymer peaks, and peaks of higher mass. Both Au and Ag nanoparticles were employed to facilitate the ionization of the polymer characteristic secondary ions. Moreover, these experiments demonstrate that the nanoparticles allow localization of high-mass fragment ions during imaging experiments utilizing focused ion beams. In general, we show that the metal nanoparticle deposition method is effective for time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry examination of polymers.

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