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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Billy James Murdoch abstract

Billy James Murdoch oral presentation (PB1-Tue4-1-2)

Practical Magnetic Sector SIMS imaging of nano-composite materials on the Helium/Neon Ion Microscope

Billy James Murdoch, Ian W Fletcher, Peter J Cumpson

Newcastle University - Newcastle University, Stephenson Building, NE1 7RU Newcastle upon Tye, United Kingdom


While having many things in common with scanning electron microscopes (SEM) the helium ion microscope (HIM) offers an unprecedented quality of imaging at down to around 0.35nm resolution in favorable cases, with typically better depth-of-field and materials contrast than is typical of SEM. One disadvantage, until now, is that there were few analytical options to identify the composition of features appearing in HIM images. In particular there is virtually no X-ray signal and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS or EDX) is impossible.

We have installed a Magnetic Sector SIMS analyser developed by Wirtz et al on our Zeiss Orion Nanofab Helium Ion Microscope. This is an “intrinsically correlative” technique, in that one can superpose HIM images and SIMS images with identical registration since they originate from the same primary ion beam. Resolution will always likely be limited to around 10nm or above by the scale of the SIMS interaction volume, and only small fragment ions can be collected in analytically-significant numbers, nevertheless there are distinct advantages to having HIM and SIMS together in the same instrument.

We present results from the first months of applying this instrument to the problem of high-spatial resolution SIMS imaging of nano-composite materials.

[1] T Wirtz, D Dowsett and P Philipp, SIMS on the Helium Ion Microscope: A Powerful Tool for High-Resolution High-Sensitivity Nano-Analytics, in Helium Ion Microscopy, Ed: G Hlawacek and A Gölzhäuser (Springer, Heidelberg, 2016), pp 297-323