School of GeoSciences

NERC Ion Micro-Probe Facility (SIMS)

The Facility carries out in-house research and provides a service to the earth and environmental science community. It is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The Ion Micro-Probe (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, SIMS) Facility is located in the School of GeoSciences, Grant Institute at the University of Edinburgh.


Cameca ims-4f

The Ion Micro-Probe Facility is equipped with a Cameca ims 4f and a Cameca 1270 and is supported by NERC under its National Capability portfolio.

The Cameca ims 4f was installed in September 1988 and despite its age it still is the instrument of choice for multiple element analysis, and is ideal for the analysis of H in nominally anhydrous minerals. Equipped with a He cryo-pump, Liquid Nitrogen cold trap and a sample air lock than can hold, pre-pump and bake eight samples prior to analysis, it is perfect for light element and volatile analysis (e.g. H, Li, B, C, F etc).

The Cameca 1270 was installed in January 2003 and provides better sensitivity and higher precision than the Cameca ims 4f. Dramatic improvements in external repeatability of isotopic ratio measurements for stable isotopes (O, Si, C, S, Li, B...) have been achieved, while the high transmisson of the 1270 at high mass resolution has enabled new areas of geochronology (U/Pb, Th/Pb, Th/U in Zircon, Monazite and Allenite) to be developed.


What's New

NERC Annual Report 2016-2017 and Scientific Reports 2016: Posted 18 April 2017
Slight changes to Application form, November 2016. Posted 02 Nov 2016
Publication Database Updated: Please contact us if we have missed your publication. Posted: 04 Nov 2015
Multi-Sample (4) Air Lock Design For 6f/1270 Instruments Posted: 12 Mar 2012
Customer Feedback Report (364.7 KB PDF)


Posted: 10 Mar 2012

Contact Information

Ion Micro-Probe Unit

  • The School of GeoSciences
  • The University of Edinburgh

School of GeoSciences
Grant Institute
James Hutton Road
The King's Buildings

Post Code