Paper – SIMS—A precursor and partner to contemporary mass spectrometry

SIMS—A precursor and partner to contemporary mass spectrometry
John C. Vickerman and Nicholas Winograd
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry (2014)


Significant events driving the development of SIMS over the last 50 years are reviewed. The discussion includes recollections of dynamic and static SIMS from the 1970s, of the emergence of TOF–SIMS during the 1980s and of the incorporation of cluster ion bombardment during most recent times. Advances in theoretical understanding of the sputtering phenomenon and of the ionization process that accompanied these advances are also included. Many early discoveries were focused upon the stimulated desorption of organic and bioorganic molecules, first via static SIMS and next via fast atom bombardment, that were important precursor experiments to modern day mass spectrometry. Today, submicron molecule-specific imaging and molecular depth profiling represent unique aspects of SIMS experiments. Developments that led to the optimization of these modalities are also emphasized in the review. In general, the characteristics of SIMS that make it a contemporary partner to modern day mass spectrometry are highlighted.