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Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer. View of a sample tray of a time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF SIMS). This mass spectrometer analyses the surface of a sample. A pulsed ion beam is used to remove molecules from the outermost surface of the sample and convert them to ions. This is done at low intensity so that large or "macro" molecules, such as polymers, stay intact. The ions are taken up into a flight tube and accelerated toward a detector. The time taken to reach the detector determines the mass of the ion. This mass spectrometer helps to accurately determine the chemical composition of a sample's surface.
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