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NanoSIMS Laboratory

The NanoSIMS 50L is an ion microprobe developed for trace element and isotopic analysis of ultra-fine features. With its coaxial lens design, it extends traditional SIMS analysis to extremely small areas (achieving lateral resolutions down to 50 nm and small sputtering depths). The NanoSIMS attains extremely high sensitivity at High Mass Resolution, and can also measure up to seven masses in parallel. These unique features allow for detailed elemental and isotopic analysis of sub-micron grains and inclusions from precious astromaterial samples. Electron transparent thin sections used for TEM analysis can also be analyzed in the NanoSIMS. The instrument is equipped with a cesium and an oxygen primary ion beam source. By rastering the primary ion beam across a sample, chemical and isotopic maps can be produced (ion imaging) and variations across samples can be revealed. These measurements uncover profound insights on processes of early solar system and stellar evolution that cannot be attained any other way. The ARES NanoSIMS team continues to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with this instrument.

Lab Leads
Scott Messenger (281-244-2786), NASA
Ann Nguyen (281-483-9446), Jacobs JETS
NanoSIMS Lab Instruments
NanoSIMS Lab Instruments