Helium ion microscope – secondary ion mass spectrometry for geological materials

Ball, Matthew R. and Taylor, Richard J. M. and Einsle, Joshua F and Khanom, Fouzia and Guillermier, Christelle and Harrison, Richard J. (2020) Helium ion microscope – secondary ion mass spectrometry for geological materials. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 11. pp. 1504-1515. ISSN 2190-4286 DOI https://doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.11.133

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The helium ion microscope (HIM) is a focussed ion beam instrument with unprecedented spatial resolution for secondary electron imaging but has traditionally lacked microanalytical capabilities. With the addition of the secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) attachment, the capabilities of the instrument have expanded to microanalysis of isotopes from Li up to hundreds of atomic mass units, effectively opening up the analysis of all natural and geological systems. However, the instrument has thus far been underutilised by the geosciences community, due in no small part to a lack of a thorough understanding of the quantitative capabilities of the instrument. Li represents an ideal element for an exploration of the instrument as a tool for geological samples, due to its importance for economic geology and a green economy, and the difficult nature of observing Li with traditional microanalytical techniques. Also Li represents a “best-case” scenario for isotopic measurements. Here we present details of sample preparation, instrument sensitivity, theoretical, and measured detection limits for both elemental and isotopic analysis as well as practicalities for geological sample analyses of Li alongside a discussion of potential geological use cases of the HIM–SIMS instrument.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2020AREP; IA76
Subjects: 03 - Mineral Sciences
Divisions: 03 - Mineral Sciences
07 - Gold Open Access
12 - PhD
Journal or Publication Title: Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume: 11
Page Range: pp. 1504-1515
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.11.133
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2020 22:50
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2020 22:50
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4901

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