A comparison of atom and ion induced SSIMS-Evidence for a charge induced damage effect in insulator materials

A. Brown, J. A. van den Berg, J. C. Vickerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


A static secondary ion mass spectrometry (SSIMS) study of two very low conductivity materials, polystyrene and niobium pentoxide, using on the one hand a primary ion beam with electron neutralisation, and on the other, atom bombardement, shows that whilst the initial spectra obtained were quite similar, subsequent damage effects were much greater under ion impact conditions. For an equivalent flux density the half-life of the polystrene surface structure was four times longer under atom bombardment. Significant reduction of the niobium surface was observed under ion bombardment whereas an equivalent atom flux had little apparent effect on the surface oxidation state. These data suggest that the requirement to dissipate the charge delivered to the sample by the primary ion beam contributes significantly to the damage mechanisms in electrically insulating materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-877
Number of pages7
JournalSpectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


Cite this