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Welcome to the latest of Kore's innovations in surface analysis: our add-on TOF-SIMS with the analytical power of high mass resolution spectrometry of the sample surface, and yet at a very affordable price.

The add-on system described below is a spin-off from our SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS instrument, and is intended for people who wish to add TOF-SIMS capabilities to an existing vacuum system, whether it is a dedicated vacuum vessel, or perhaps a side chamber to an existing analytical instrument.

With these components you will be able to create a powerful additional TOF-SIMS facility using a Kore TOF spectrometer that will produce spectroscopic information in positive and negative TOF-SIMS from the surface chemistry of your samples. You may have an existing ion column, or be interested in a pulsing, 5keV Cs+ primary ion beam supplied by Kore. The mass spectral peaks can have a mass resolution of ≥3,000 (FWHM) on organic species, making it possible, for example, to distinguish between saturated hydrocarbons and species at the same mass containing oxygen atoms. Organic species are well separated from elemental species at the same nominal mass.

Schematic overview

System 1: TOF-SIMS System and Viewing Optics, but no Primary Ion Gun

This system would be of interest to someone who already has a pulsing, microfocused gun that can be rastered across the sample surface, or who wishes to purchase such an ion column from a third party manufacturer. The SED system permits primary beam focusing. Please note that to acquire TOF-SIMS images into the data system, the Kore SIMS imaging module requires that the primary column raster scanner has external X and Y scanning inputs, and that the gun also has suitable pulsing plates for fast pulsing. Kore is also able to supply a suitable fast pulser for the ion column if required - details upon request.

Schematic of imaging and charge neutralising

System 2: TOF-SIMS System and Viewing Optics, plus Cs+ Primary Ion Column

As above (System 1), plus:

The Cs beam is normally pulsed, resulting in low primary ion fluxes at the sample surface (for static SIMS analyses). However for sputter cleaning, the beam can be rastered and turned on continuously to remove unwanted surface hydrocarbons from inorganic samples.


System 1:

The spectrometer will be pumped out to a suitable vacuum level, and cabled to the control electronics. All the control voltages will be applied and mass 'spectra' (essentially dark noise) acquired into the data acquisition system to demonstrate that it is functional. The system will be switched between positive and negative ion SIMS, and checks will be made for the appropriate voltage switches. Oscilloscope traces will be captured and presented for the output of the ion detector. The optical microscope system, camera and illumination will also be tested

System 2:

The spectrometer will be fitted to a Kore test chamber along with the Cs ion gun, and cabled to the various control electronics. The primary beam will be pulsed and bombard a sample. The stage pulser will be attached to the floating sample. Secondary ions will be extracted. Data in positive and negative SIMS will be acquired into the data acquisition system and mass spectral data presented as evidence of a readiness to ship the system. The mass resolution will be >1000M/dm (FWHM) for atomic species > mass 40, and >2000M/dm (FWHM) for organic molecular ions > mass 40.

Fitting to an existing vacuum chamber

Schematic of near sample area

We have provided the standard 're-entrant' distances of the various Kore components into the client vacuum chamber (see accompanying sketch). The extraction nose of the secondary ion optics is intended to be located at 5mm from the sample surface. Requests to alter the re-entrant distance of the optics can be considered, but will incur some extra design costs and affect the magnification of the optics.

The Cs ion column has a re-entrant distance of 228mm, but could be shortened by considering an additional 70OD CF pipe section.

You are encouraged to contact us and we will ask our mechanical engineer to advise you on how to match our components to an existing chamber.

Sample stage

For now we assume that you already have a sample stage. The key issue is that it should be possible to apply a high voltage of ~2kV to the sample stage in your TOF-SIMS chamber, i.e. the sample holder must be able to float away from ground potential. This is a key property. The Kore stage pulser needs to be connected via an SHV connector to the sample stage.


Please contact us for current pricing of the above two systems.


Last updated: 11:21 15/07/2014

© Kore Technology Limited 2014