Instrumentation for nano-analytics

Development of high-performance SIMS add-on systems

We develop compact SIMS add-on systems, which can be mounted on various instruments, including helium ion microscopes (HIM), FIB (focused ion beam instruments) and dual beam instruments, transmission electron microscopes (TEM), ion implanters, etc.:

  • Our SIMS systems comprise all ion optical components allowing them to be easily mounted as add-on systems on existing instruments.
  • Our extraction and transfer optics maximize secondary ion extraction efficiency (>60%) without negatively impacting the focusing property of the primary ion beam.
  • Our mass spectrometers are based upon a compact magnetic sector double-focusing mass spectrometer, offering highest transmission, high mass resolution (M/M > 500), full elemental mass range (H-U) and parallel detection of several or even all masses using a multiple-collector system or a full-size focal plane detector (FPD), respectively.

Several SIMS add-on systems have been developed and installed on various FIB platforms for high-sensitivity, highest lateral resolution (down to ultimate SIMS spatial resolution), and high-speed nanoscale 2D and 3D chemical imaging, i.e., HIM-SIMS, FIB-SEM-SIMS, SIMS:ZERO, npSCOPE.

Contact: Hung Quang HOANG & Olivier DE CASTRO

Development of high-performance mass spectrometers for space applications and field portable applications

We develop field portable magnetic-sector and time-of-flight mass spectrometers for high-sensitivity chemical analysis. The mass spectrometers can be as light as sub-kg, allowing for integration into portable and/or mobile systems. The spectrometers’ size depends on applications and can be as small to be integrated into one CubeSat unit. The mass resolution (M/∆M) can range from a few hundreds to a few thousands. The two main fields of application are:

  • Space exploration and resource prospecting including analyses of

    • water and volatiles
    • isotopic ratios of H, C, O, N
    • minerals
    • etc.

  • Terrestrial field portable applications including in-line isotopic ratio measurement in

    • hydrology
    • chemical analysis in oil and gas industry
    • environmental monitoring
    • homeland security
    • etc.

Contact: Hung Quang HOANG

Development of ion sources

Nano-scale techniques based on finely focused ion beams fall primarily into three groups: FIB machining, imaging (no chemical information) and analysis (chemical information). Such techniques all have in common that high-brightness ion sources are desired to produce very finely focused ion probes, and thus extremely high lateral resolution, while keeping a sufficiently high current compatible with a reasonable erosion rate or large yield of secondary electrons/ions. In addition, the species used for the ion beam is of great importance in all three areas mentioned above. Our ion source developments include a novel high brightness Cs+ ion source, negative surface ionization sources and versatile high-brightness electron impact ion sources.

Apart from high-brightness ion source development, we also develop compact electron impact ion sources for space and field portable mass spectrometry applications.

Contact: Hung Quang HOANG & Olivier DE CASTRO



Research domains
  • Materials

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