Elemental and Isotopic imaging down to 50nm
 Acutance Scientific Ltd 2011 - 2017

NanoSIMS - imaging trace isotopes and elements


50nm spatial resolution for sharp chemical or isotopic imaging, with trace level elemental sensitivity

from deep sub-micron areas

Hover the cursor over the left-hand image to zoom in.                               
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E & OE

The NanoSIMS Ion Microprobe offers

50nm spatial resolution for sharp chemical or isotopic


Trace level elemental sensitivity from deep sub-micron areas

Parallel collection of up to 7 species for simultaneous isotopic

and/or elemental analysis



Earth sciences,

Materials and Metallurgy

Click on the thumbnails above to select new image Data in the gallery include the following..... 1) Direct evidence of Pu adsorption onto amorphous Fe hydroxide  The NanoSIMS offers enough sensitivity to map trace elements (U, Pu) with sub-micron lateral resolution. Sorption of actinides, particularly plutonium, onto sub-µm-sized colloids increases their mobility, but these plutonium colloids are difficult to detect in the far-field. The authors identified actinides on colloids in the groundwater some km from their source. "Colloid Transport of Plutonium in the Far-Field of the Mayak Production Association, Russia." Alexander P. Novikov, Stepan N. Kalmykov, Satoshi Utsunomiya, Rodney C. Ewing, Francois Horreard, Alex Merkulov, Susan B. Clark, Vladimir V. Tchachev, Boris F. Myasoedov, SCIENCE, vol 314, 27 Oct 2006
CAMECA Science and Metrology Solutions - SIMS, Atom Probe Tomography, Electron Probe for Material Analysis
2) Trace element imaging at 0.1µm lateral resolution, on bulk insulating sample Top row: Silicon dopant mapping (linear and log. display) in YAG samples (Ytrium Aluminium Garnet). Bottom row: Silicon dopant mapping at higher magnification on two different YAG, showing two different segregation patterns after thermal treatment. Courtesy of Dr. H. Haneda, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan 4) Example of large-area stitching  Symbiosis between N-fixing bacterium and fishworm followed through  15N2 labelling. This stitched example 800µm x 300µm. Stitching offers areas of up to 2 or 3mm. Typical Field Of View of individual frames is between  2 x 2 µm and 50 x 50 µm C. Lechene et al., SCIENCE, Vol 317, 14 sept 2007
3) Diffusion in metals & alloys Example of crack tip propagation in nuclear reactor steel: Cr oxide lines the crack surrounding Fe oxide within. Overlay: trace levels of boron ahead of the crack tip. The line scan extracted from the image clearly reveals boron segregation.  Courtesy of M.R. Kilburn, S. Lozano-Perez and C.A. English, C.R.M. Grovenor, Oxford University, UK. 5) Discovery of Ancient Silicate Stardust in a Meteorite  These are Oxygen isotope ratios of a 100µm2 area containing a presolar grain (circled). Ann N. Nguyen, Ernst Zinner.  SCIENCE, Vol. 303, p. 1496-1499, 5 March 2004
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