Imaging with cluster secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is reaching a mature level of development. Using a variety of molecular ion projectiles to stimulate desorption, 3-dimensional imaging with the selectivity of mass spectrometry can now be achieved with submicrometer spatial resolution and <10 nm depth resolution. In this Perspective, stock is taken regarding what it will require to routinely achieve these remarkable properties. Issues include the chemical nature of the projectile, topography formation, differential erosion rates, and perhaps most importantly, ionization efficiency. Shortcomings of existing instrumentation are also noted. Speculation about how to successfully resolve these issues is a key part of the discussion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry