On the SIMS Ionization Probability of Organic Molecules

Nicholas J. Popczun, Lars Breuer, Andreas Wucher, Nicholas Winograd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prospect of improved secondary ion yields for secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) experiments drives innovation of new primary ion sources, instrumentation, and post-ionization techniques. The largest factor affecting secondary ion efficiency is believed to be the poor ionization probability (α + ) of sputtered material, a value rarely measured directly, but estimated to be in some cases as low as 10 −5 . Our lab has developed a method for the direct determination of α + in a SIMS experiment using laser post-ionization (LPI) to detect neutral molecular species in the sputtered plume for an organic compound. Here, we apply this method to coronene (C 24 H 12 ), a polyaromatic hydrocarbon that exhibits strong molecular signal during gas-phase photoionization. A two-dimensional spatial distribution of sputtered neutral molecules is measured and presented. It is shown that the ionization probability of molecular coronene desorbed from a clean film under bombardment with 40 keV C 60 cluster projectiles is of the order of 10 −3 , with some remaining uncertainty arising from laser-induced fragmentation and possible differences in the emission velocity distributions of neutral and ionized molecules. In general, this work establishes a method to estimate the ionization efficiency of molecular species sputtered during a single bombardment event. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1191
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy

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