Surface Analysis by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS): Principles and Applications from Swiss laboratories


  • Johanna Marin Carbonne UNIL
  • Andras Kiss University of Geneva
  • Anne-Sophie Bouvier UNIL
  • Anders Meibom UNIL, EPFL
  • Lukas Baumgartner UNIL
  • Thomas Bovay UNIL
  • Florent Plane UNIL, EPFL
  • Stephane Escrig EPFL
  • Daniela Rubatto University of Bern



SIMS, TOF SIMS, NanoSIMS, Earth Sciences, Material Sciences, Biology, Surface Analysis, Mass Spectrometer


Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) extracts chemical, elemental, or isotopic information about a localized area of a solid target by performing mass spectrometry on secondary ions sputtered from its surface by the impact of a beam of charged particles. This primary beam sputters ionized atoms and small molecules (as well as many neutral particles) from the upper few nanometers of the sample surface. The physical basis of SIMS has been applied to a large range of applications utilizing instruments optimized with different types of mass analyzer, either dynamic SIMS with a double focusing mass spectrometer or static SIMS with a Time of Flight (TOF) analyzer. Here, we present a short review of the principles and major applications of three different SIMS instruments located in Switzerland.




How to Cite

J. Marin Carbonne, A. Kiss, A.-S. Bouvier, A. Meibom, L. Baumgartner, T. Bovay, F. Plane, S. Escrig, D. Rubatto, Chimia 2022, 76, 26, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2022.26.