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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Torsten Henkel abstract

Torsten Henkel oral presentation (PB1-Mon2-1-5)

Acquiring Comprehensive Sample Information Faster at Lower Cost Using the Newly Developed MidiSIMS

Torsten Henkel, Nick Long, Vic Parr

SAI Ltd., Wright Street, M16 9HB Manchester, United Kingdom


Acquiring comprehensive sample data in a fast and cost effective way is a necessity for a productive laboratory in today’s environment. In a typical sample workflow a comprehensive first analysis is needed for a better understanding of the sample and to determine regions of interest which can then be studied in greater detail.

To facilitate this we have built a new widely configurable version of our ToF-SIMS instrument with a selection of ion guns for different roles. Up to two ion guns can be mounted simultaneously with a selection of an LMIG for high spatial resolution (down to 100nm), a Duoplasmatron for depth profiling (with a depth resolution of a few nm) or a C60-ion gun for organic analysis. Using a d.c. primary ion beam and an orthogonal analyzer the instrument acquires data very rapidly (up to several millions of counts per second) while acquiring complete mass spectra at each pixel of a chemical image. 3D-depth profiling is possible by recording multiple chemical images. Hyperspectral ToF imaging in this way avoids the need for a priori knowledge of sample composition as would be required by quadrupole or magnetic sector SIMS instrumentation and makes the MidiSIMS ideal for both R&D and FA applications.

Figure 1 shows two examples of elemental mapping of a meteorite thin section. Such images are needed to find specific minerals which are then used to determine the age or thermal history of the meteorite. The analysis for each area took only 17 minutes and includes all the main and minor elements in one acquisition. Electron microscope imaging would have taken several hours to acquire the same information.

A derivative of the instrument has already been developed and built for the simultaneous acquisition of over 50 biomarkers in cancer research [1] where previous methods have been limited to the analysis of only a few proteins at once or taken days to acquire the data.

[1] R.M. Levenson et al., Lab Invest. 95(4), 2015, 397-405.