School of GeoSciences

SIMS Information

Technical information and requirements for users of the Facility.


The Ion Microprobe employs Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) for the chemical analysis of small volumes of material.


The Ion Micro-Probe Facility is equipped with a Cameca IMS 4f, a Cameca 1270 and a Cameca IMS 7f-Geo.


The Cameca 4f and 1270 accept the same specimen holder . The specimen should be 24 - 24.5mm in diameter and less than 12mm thick. The area that can be analysed is with in ~9mm of the centre, although for high precision isotopic analysis this is reduced to +/- 5mm from the centre.

Examples of Sample Preparations

Indium Mount
Every sample is different. These are just a few examples of preparation procedures. Please ask advice if you are in any doubt how to proceed.

Preparation Advice

Rules of thumb for preparing epoxy resins. Preparation is the key to good analyses, unfortunately it's not a science, but an art. We are happy give advice, so please ask.

Epoxy Resins

The withdrawal (2007) of the Ciba-Geigy resin Araldite MY 778 and Hardener HY 951 from the market has forced the Facility to re-look at the most suitable epoxy resins to use for Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis.