Welcome to the Laboratory of

Secondary Neutral/Ion Mass Spectrometry

With decreasing dimensions and increasing complexity of thin film and multilayer structures the traditional techniques for the chemical and physical characterization of materials need to be replaced by the modern techniques of physics. The quantitative composition of these structures and surface layers down to trace elements is often of crucial importance for the quality of products. Detailed knowledge here means a decisive advantage over competitors.

A Secondary Neutral Mass Spectrometer (SNMS) type INA-X (SPECS GmbH Berlin) supplemented with Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) is in operation in our laboratory. It is jointly operated with the Department of Solid State Physics, University of Debrecen. The SNMS/SIMS machine is suitable for the following application:

  • analysis of conducting and insulating materials
  • depth profiling for scientific and industrial applications
  • impurity and contamination analysis in quality control
  • analysis of buried interfaces
  • environmental analysis

Secondary Neutral Mass Spectrometry using electron gas post-ionization is ideally suited to quantitative elemental and depth profiling analysis of any material. Minimal matrix effects and no influence due to preferential sputtering allow very accurate material analysis. Secondary Neutral Mass Spectrometry has an advantage over other methods based on ion sputtering, e.g. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, that it makes a strict separation between the emission and ionization of sputtered particles possible. Because the sputtered elements are mostly in neutral state, i.e. only less than 1% is in ionic state, post-ionization is a very effective method in the elimination of matrix effect.

The INA-X type SNMS system uses an Electron Cyclotron Wave Resonance (ECWR) plasma as an ion source and post-ionization medium. Since the plasma profile is highly uniform over the entire analysed area and the sputtering energies are low (a few 100 eV), high depth resolution can be achieved by SNMS. Mass analysis is performed by a quadrupole type mass spectrometer up to 340 amu.



Institute for Nuclear Research, Hungaryan Academy of Science

H-4026 Debrecen, Bem tér 18/C
Building VI., Room 21.
Phone: (+36)(52) 509 200
Fax: (+36)(52) 416 181