The Potsdam Ion Microprobe (SIMS) User Facility
The Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam operates a fully equipped, large geometry SIMS instrument, which is supported by a comprehensive spectrum of peripheral instrumentation. The SIMS laboratory is an open user facility intended to support the needs of the global geochemical community.
Scientists from Europe and beyond are invited to contact us to discuss possibilities for collaboration. We strive to provide top-quality analytical data in and as rapid and uncomplicated means as possible.
Ion microprobes, also known as secondary ion mass spectrometers (SIMS), use a finely focused ion beam to probe a selected sample domain. A small percentage of the material sputtered from the polished surface of the sample is ionized, and these ions are accelerated into a mass spectrometer where they are separated according to their mass-over-charge ratio.
An important characteristic of SIMS is its high sensitivity compared to other microbeam sampling techniques:
The ability to count individual ions results in detection limits in the parts-per-billion range for many elements. Also the fact that ions derived from the sample are separated by their mass-over-charge ratio allows isotopic analyses to be performed on test portion masses that can be as small as 200 picograms.
Ion microprobes offer six modes of operation for geoscience applications:
More information about Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) can be found via the following link:
Phone: +49 331
1280-HR Lab: 288-28915
Operator Room: 288-28916
Prep Room: 288-28917
Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam