WARRINGTON, England, Oct. 4, 2010 — Hiden Analytical Ltd. has upgraded its SIMS (secondary ion mass spectrometry)/SNMS (sputtered neutral mass spectrometry) workstation for high-sensitivity static and dynamic surface analysis. Applications range from photovoltaics, metallurgy, semiconductors and thin-film studies to geology and gemstone characterization. The sample loading and sample transfer stages with fast-entry load lock enable preloading and reloading of multiple samples for optimum cost-effective operational efficiency. The system is fully ultrahigh-vacuum-compliant, with a choice of oxygen, argon and caesium ion sources for broad-beam applications and for fine-focus operation to a 20-µm spot size. It provides elemental analysis of both electropositive and electronegative species. Included in the system are electron beam charge compensation, a CCD camera and an enclosure. The multiported vacuum chamber is fully accessible for mounting additional accessories. The high-transmission mass spectrometer monitors positive and negative ions, with the integral electron bombardment ion source mounted at the sample surface to provide pre-ionization of sputtered neutrals. The workstation accepts diverse sample types and, together with the built-in elemental surface imaging program, provides quantitative analysis of surface composition and/or depth profile features. The detector featuring the SNMS mode with measurement of secondary neutrals yields precise data quantification. Mass range is selectable to 1000 atomic mass units, with high sensitivity maintained to the lowest-molecular-weight species, boron, beryllium and lithium, to monatomic hydrogen. All mass spectrometer and ion gun control parameters are fully software integrated. The PC interface controls data acquisition gating and scan area raster to integrate species and scan coordinates for applications to the proprietary elemental surface mapping LabView imaging program that identifies multilayer surface location and distribution of all relevant species in real time. The preprogrammable pull-down menus provide fast and automated operation for diverse analysis requirements. The full raster area is user-definable up to 4 × 4 mm, with data acquisition from a second internal defined area to obviate crater side-wall interference. The enhancements to the system are described in a brochure available on the company’s website.