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Tag: Surface analysis Ordering

A complication and barrier to wider uptake of SIMS, especially for organic materials, is the complexity of the mass spectrum. The G-SIMS method (from gentle-SIMS) was developed to simplify the spectra and provide direct interpretation based on the physics and chemistry of the SIMS process rather than on statistical analysis techniques such as principal component analysis or library matching methods.

A new version of the K-Alpha X-ray photoelectron spectrometer is available from Thermo Fisher Scientific. This integrated surface characterisation tool is designed for surface engineers, whether working in cutting-edge research and developement of new surface chemistries or dealing with routine characterisation of surfaces, thin films and coatings. The new instrument combines improved spectrometer performance with the latest version of Avantage XPS acquisition and processing user interface to produce high sample throughput and performance. The high level of integration between hardware and software enables users to calibrate their instrument with a single button press and incorporates full traceability of all system parameters.[moreinfo rsn="130" issue="22-06"]Thermo Fisher Scientific[/moreinfo]

The new MAXIM SIMS/SNMS work­station from Hiden Analytical combines high-sensitivity surface measurement by both secondary ion and sputtered neutral mass spectrometry. The system is suited to both static and dynamic measurement and is fully UHV compliant with a choice of oxygen, argon and caesium ion sources for broad-beam applications and for fine-focus operation to 20 µm spot size. The workstation is configured to accept diverse sample types and, together with the in-built elemental surface imaging program, provides for quantitative analysis of surface composition and/or depth profile features.[moreinfo rsn="125" issue="22-06"]Hiden Analytical Ltd[/moreinfo]

Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is proving to be critical for identifying and differentiating the various components of explosives. ToF-SIMS can potentially be used to differentiate between explosive manufacturers and to reveal an explosive material’s country of origin.

APPELS, differentially pumped Ambient Pressure PhotoElectron Lens System for photoemission studies, is one of four inventions from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which have been recognised with the R&D 100 award for 2010 from R&D Magazine, which recognises the 100 most significant proven technological advances of the year.

Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies, Inc. (BEST) has acquired the assets of AIXUV GmbH in Aachen, Germany, a company specialising in XUV/EUV systems and key components. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and AIXUV has been relocated to the BEST operations in Bergisch Gladbach.

IonSense have introduced the 3+D Scanner for rapid chemical analysis of surfaces. The 3+D Scanner is interfaced to the Dart-SVP open-air ionisation source. The device enables rapid mass spectrometry analysis of chemicals on surfaces such as food, packaging materials, fabrics, consumer products, electrical components and wafers. Automated surface analysis can be accomplished without placing the sample under high vacuum as in traditional surface analysis. The Apple iPod-based controller directs the analysis of the entire surface for uniformity or allows you to choose specific locations, thus enabling rapid characterisation of contaminants with no sample preparation.

Thermo Fisher has launched its Escalab 250Xi X-ray photoelectron spectrometer which is a fully integrated surface characterisation tool designed to meet the demands of surface engineers whether working in research and development of new surface chemistries or dealing with routine characterisation of surfaces, thin films and coatings.

Bruker has announced the launch of its N8 Neos Santerra micro analysis system that combines Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy on a single optical microscope platform.

At York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, scientists and preservation experts are working together to save this historic building from decay and erosion with the help of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. (With video)

Carl Zeiss has launched a new field emission scanning electron microscope. The Merlin combines the contradictory requirements of ultra-high resolution imaging and analytical capabilities and supports the user with a wide range of detailed solutions for tasks that could not be performed in the past. This has been achieved by the company's complete detection system which consists of an in-lens SE detector for surface imaging, an in-lens EsB detector for material contrast and an AsB detector for widely dispersed backscattered electrons which contains specific information on the crystal orientation of samples. The electronic system permits flexible instrument configuration. Additional detectors can be retrofitted quickly to adapt the system for growing requirements.

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK's National Measurement Institute, is developing equipment and techniques to support the growing use of organic electronics. The market for organic, or plastic, electronics is expected to be worth £15 billion by 2015 (IDTechEx), and NPL is seeking to ensure the infrastructure is in place to allow businesses to achieve commercial success in this emerging area.

Kálmán Vad,a Attila Csika and Gábor A. LangerbaInstitute of Nuclear Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-4001 Debrecen, PO Box 51, Hungary. E-mail:; web: of Solid State Physics, University of Debrecen, H-4010 Debrecen, PO Box 2, Hungary


The decrease of dimensions and increasing complexity of thin-film and multilayer structures require the application of methods that provide information down to the nanometre scale. The quantification of nanostructures and surface layers with high sensitivity is often of crucial importance in monitoring product quality. Sensitive elemental analysis, together with a quantitative chemical analysis, is a prerequisite for the preparation of thin-layer structures of good quality.

The latest high voltage power supply from Applied Kilovolts is a benchtop model providing stable output of up to 30 kV. The Alpha IV produces a low ripple of less than 100 ppm with output current of up to 10 mA and low drift. Polarity is switchable electronically through a digital interface as are all other control functions. When in Limit mode, the power supply operates in constant voltage or constant current mode, depending on the load, with automatic crossover from one mode to the other and when in Trip mode, the power supply will trip once the set level is reached. Applications include research and development of analytical instruments in fields such as mass spectrometry, surface science, X-ray imaging and insulation testing of cables and components.

Applied Kilovolts Limited Issue: 21/01 RSN: 111

A famous Neolithic Iceman dressed in clothes made from sheep and cattle hair, a new study shows. The researchers say their findings support the idea that the Iceman was a herdsman, and that their technique, reported today in the journal Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (doi: 10.1002/rcm.3679), has use in the modern clothing industry.

Although the Iceman, dubbed Oetzi’s, clothes were known to be made of animal skins, their exact origin was uncertain. This new study focusses on hair samples taken from Oetzi’s coat, leggings and moccasin shoes.

“We found that the hairs came from sheep and cattle, just the types of animals that herdsmen care for during their seasonal migrations,” says lead researcher Klaus Hollemeyer of Saarland University in Germany.

The researchers analysed hair samples using MALDI ToF mass spectrometry and compared them with those of modern day animals. They found that Oetzi’s coat and leggings were made from sheep’s fur, whilst his moccasins were of cattle origin.

The researchers believe that MALDI ToF mass spectrometry may be faster and more reliable than methods based on DNA analysis and that it could be applied in archaeology and evolutionary biology.

“This method could, for example, be used in checking the purity of products made from animal hair, such as pullovers and jackets made of Cashmere wool,” says Hollemeyer. “I think that a major field of application will be to help manufacturers abide by the European Union law concerning the ban of dog and cat fur trade next year.” Klaus Hollemeyer contributed an article on this topic to Spectroscopy Europe last year [Spectrosc. Europe 19(2), 8 (2007)].

John WaltonSurface Analysis Coordinator, School of Materials, The University of Manchester, PO Box 88, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK. E-mail:, Web:


Since the interaction between solid materials and their surrounding media, whether gaseous or liquid, occurs at the surface, analytical techniques capable of providing information from the interaction region are fundamental in understanding the processes that are occurring. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) is one such technique, and is capable of analysing both conducting and insulating materials.

A new monobloc assembly on the Hiden Analytical HPR-30 series of process gas analysers provides twin conductance paths allowing base pressure measurements and process measurements with the same configuration. Advanced control with auto-switching of the twin inlets via the MASsoft operating program enables this dual monitoring role to be completed without user intervention. The analysers are fully configurable for individual process applications such as CVD, plasma etching, MOCVD, process gas purity and in-process contaminant monitoring. Options include the 3F series triple filter quadrupole system providing enhanced sensitivity, ppb detection levels and high contamination resistance.Hiden Analytical LtdIssue: 19/02 RSN:

John F. WattsSurrey Materials Institute and School of Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK. E-mail:

The University of Manchester has been awarded £1.7m to build a new instrument that combines time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) with infrared spectroscopy, which will open new possibilities in the study of biological, organic and inorganic materials. The capabilities of the instrument, which will be built within two years, will be tested on materials such as prostate cancer tissue and environmental particulate pollutants. Professor John Vickerman, Director of the Surface Analysis Research Centre, said: “By combining this capability with infrared spectroscopy we will be able to get a much fuller picture of the chemistry of the molecules and materials we are studying”.