Time-of-Flight Secondary ION Mass Spectrometry (ToF SIMS)

The time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF SIMS) is a specific type of SIMS for analyzing the near-surface layers in the range of a few Ångström. The sample is rastered with a focused beam of primary ions and the secondary ions knocked out of the material are analyzed. Here, we are using a flight time analyzer, which can measure a complete mass spectrum per sputter pulse.

In contrast to dynamic SIMS, ToF SIMS is a static SIMS method in which only the top atomic layers are stimulated specifically, providing surface sensitive information. An additional sputter source also allows the measurement of depth profiles. By means of static SIMS, surface analyses on element compositions are possible, as well as the examination of organic materials/impurities. In addition, mapping the lateral distribution is feasible. Measuring organic secondary ions with chemical information, such as functional groups and specific molecular fragments, is the unique selling point compared to dynamic SIMS.

Depth profiling can be used for classical measurement of dopants, as well as for measuring layer systems. Here too, the visualization of lateral and depth distributions over the layers is possible in 2D/3D.

We measure for you with an IONTOF TOF.SIMS 5 with BiMn primary source, Cs/O2 secondary sputter source, and 300 mm chamber.

Our Services

  • Depth profiling of dopants and impurities
  • Measurements also possible in thick insulator layers
  • Impurities in metal layers
  • Measurement of layer homogeneities and layer closure
  • Depth profiles in ultra-thin layers
  • Analysis of all elements including H
  • Process controls
  • Necessary sample preparations (grinding, wet chemical removal of cover layers, cutting/breaking samples, removal of elements / bond wires)
  • Analysis of whole wafers (up to 300 mm) without cutting possible
  • Surface analysis for inorganic and organic composition and impurities
  • Analysis of optical abnormalities, stains, etc.
  • Analysis of local surface purity
  • Investigation of adhesion problems, delamination, etc.
  • Surface mappings with a lateral resolution of up to 200 nm


  • Quality control of galvanic processes and sputtered layers
  • Visualization of layer interfaces
  • Depth profiling of
    • electrically-significant hot spots, examination of failure parts
    • BPSG and PSG insulating layers
    • functional layers of glass
    • compound semiconductors
    • matrix stoichiometry in combination with XPS
  • Surface analysis of:
    • inorganic/metallic impurities
    • organic impurities (incl. silicones/silicone oils, PDMS, greases/oils, adhesive residues)
  • Surface mapping, e.g. for checking bond pads and coatings

Sample Requirements

  • Solid, vacuum-stable samples
  • Depth profiling destroys the measuring point, in surface analysis it remains mostly intact
  • Depending on the elements of interest, multiple measurement may be necessary (negative/positive secondary ions)


  • Measurement signal: secondary ion intensity (elements and molecular fragments)
  • Simultaneous measurement of the "entire" mass range possible, complete periodic table
  • Detection limits: 10E7 - 10E10 At/cm2; sub-monolayer
  • Depth resolution: 1-3 monolayers (static mode)


Königsbrücker Landstr. 161
01109 Dresden

t +49 351 8841-200
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