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Depth profiling and melting of nanoparticles in Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS).

Yang, L; Seah, M P; Gilmore, I S; Morris, R J H*; Dowsett, M G*; Boarino, L*; Sparnacci, K*; Laus, M* (2013) Depth profiling and melting of nanoparticles in Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). J. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (31). pp. 16042-16052.

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Studies are reported of the issues encountered in the depth profiling analysis, by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), of structured nanoparticles based on Stöber silica. The main issue concerns melting under the impact of the primary ions designed to sputter the sample for the profiling. The nanoparticles chosen are deliberately large to minimize the effects of heating. The nanoparticles used are either of a core of Au encased in a shell of SiO2 or a core of SiO2 with a thin layer of very small Ag nanoparticles, also encased in SiO2, both the final particles being ~200 nm in diameter and being characterized and designed for optical purposes. The SIMS depth profiles are conducted with Arn+ and C60+ cluster primary ions that generate very high sputtering yields and so may be expected to have a low energy deposition per unit of layer removal and per emitted signal ion. They are also conducted with ultra-low energy Cs+ and O2+ primary ions that have an intrinsically low energy deposition per impacting ion. In all cases, the interpretation of the SIMS depth profiles shows that melting occurs, although it is likely that with ultra-low energy Cs+ this effect is minimized. The Au core may be profiled without melting. These results are confirmed by scanning electron microscope studies and show that meaningful SIMS depth profiling of nanoparticles may only be possible if an efficient heat sinking method is available.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: cluster ion beams, nanoparticles, SIMS
Subjects: Nanoscience
Nanoscience > Surface and Nanoanalysis
Identification number/DOI: 10.1021/jp4048538
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:14
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/5939

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