Horiba Scientific has released the Ultra Fast Depth Profiling TOFMS. This plasma profiling TOFMS (PP-TOFMS) instrument is compact and provides chemical composition as a function of depth of solid materials. The depth profiling technique involves a high ion density ionic glow discharge plasma source that erodes and ionises sample material, coupled to an ultra-fast orthogonal time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Since the sample does not need to be transferred to a high vacuum chamber, pre-analysis time is greatly reduced. The use of a radio frequency excitation signal allows analysis of all types of materials ranging from conductive to non-conductive (e.g. thin films on thick glass substrates can be analysed in a few minutes) and from inorganic to hybrid.
PP-TOFMS analysis offers fast data about just-deposited, just-processed layers or any solid sample being analysed. It can provide valuable information about depth distribution of major elements, profiles of dopants, identification of unexpected contaminants and quality of interfaces within the nanometre scale. The new PP-TOFMS can not only detect any element, but the technique is nearly equally sensitive to all elements, except hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, since the ionisation process is completely separated from the sputtering process. This permits a standard-free, instantaneous semi-quantification analysis of a sample with an atomic concentration range spanning orders of magnitudes in a single measurement.