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Rev Sci Instrum. 2014 Mar;85(3):033107. doi: 10.1063/1.4869036.

Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry with transmission of energetic primary cluster ions through foil targets.

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  • 1National Metrology Institute of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan.
  • 2Takasaki Advanced Radiation Research Institute (TARRI), Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Takasaki, Gumma 370-1292, Japan.


We developed time-of-flight (TOF) secondary ion (SI) mass spectrometry that provides informative SI ion mass spectra without needing a sophisticated ion beam pulsing system. In the newly developed spectrometry, energetic large cluster ions with energies of the order of sub MeV or greater are used as primary ions. Because their impacts on the target surface produce high yields of SIs, the resulting SI mass spectra are informative. In addition, the start signals necessary for timing information on primary ion incidence are provided by the detection signals of particles emitted from the rear surface of foil targets upon transmission of the primary ions. This configuration allows us to obtain positive and negative TOF SI mass spectra without pulsing system, which requires precise control of the primary ions to give the spectra with good mass resolution. We also successfully applied the TOF SI mass spectrometry with energetic cluster ion impacts to the chemical structure characterization of organic thin film targets.

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