Standard Article

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

Ion-Beam Techniques

  1. John F. Watts1,
  2. John Wolstenholme2,
  3. Roger P. Webb1

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com142

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Watts, J. F., Wolstenholme, J. and Webb, R. P. 2012. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. Characterization of Materials. 1–33.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

  2. 2

    Thermo Fisher Scientific, East Grinstead, West Sussex, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


An overview of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is given. It is placed in context of other surface analytical techniques. The SIMS technique is divided into static, dynamic, and imaging SIMS. The basic operations, assumptions, and variations are explained with examples from the scientific literature. Problems associated with interpreting the collected data and the ways in which the data is interpreted are given. The recommendations from ASTM and ISO in the use of SIMS and interpretation of the data are referenced.


  • secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS);
  • molecular imaging;
  • depth profiling;
  • materials characterisation;
  • elemental analysis;
  • molecular analysis