Select your region: UK & Ireland   /   Nordic


Physical Electronics


Parallel Imaging MS/MS for Surface Aalysis

With parallel imaging MS/MS, TOF-SIMS peaks can now be identified unambiguously. The PHI nanoTOF II is a TOF-SIMS (Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) instrument for elemental, chemical and molecular imaging, with applications in many fields, including material development and failure analysis. TOF-SIMS uniquely combines sensitivity, spatial resolution and molecular specificity. For more information about how TOF-SIMS works, read our article.

  • Detect and identify molecules from exact mass and characteristic fragments
  • Parallel detection of all elements from Hydrogen to Uranium
  • Elemental and molecular imaging with spatial resolution down to 70 nm
  • Parts-per-million level elemental sensitivity
  • Depth profiling and 3D imaging of elements and molecules

The patented TRIFT mass spectrometer from Physical Electronics delivers excellent sensitivity and can image highly topographic surfaces. Depending on your requirements, the PHI nanoTOF TOF-SIMS can be configured with a variety of options to optimise performance for organic materials, inorganic materials, or both.

 Watch a video interview with Maastricht University, where the first nanoTOF II was installed in December 2015.

Contact us for quotes and more information:
01223 422 269 or


TOF-SIMS imaging

3D FIB-TOF images of a solid oxide fuel cell with a 50 x 50 x 10 µm analysis volume. Observe compositional information and physical structures such as voids.


  • Nanotechnology
  • Batteries and energy conversion – more info
  • Organic electronics
  • Polymer blends
  • Thin films, paints, adhesives and coatings
  • Pharmaceuticals, medical devices and basic medical research
  • Paints
  • Semiconductors
  • Magnetic Media
  • Catalysts
  • Ceramics


  • Uniform imaging sensitivity on curved or rough surfaces
  • Superior depth-of-field for high mass resolution images
  • High mass sensitivity for organic and medical applications
  • Low spectral background and highest abundance sensitivity
  • Turnkey insulator analysis with patented dual beam charge compensation technology

Triple Focussing Time-of-Flight (TRIFT) Mass Analyser

The nanoTOF II is based on PHI’s patented TRIFT mass spectrometer, with three 90° sector electrostatic analysers (ESA).
This design eliminates metastable ions, to produce spectra with very low background and excellent detection limits. The TRIFT analyser has a larger angular acceptance, larger energy bandpass and a larger depth-of-field than any other analyser design.

HR2 Molecular Imaging

The new PHI liquid metal ion gun can achieve ion beam diameters of less than 500 nm in high mass resolution mode,
with higher beam currents than ever before. Achieve both high spatial resolution or high mass resolution in a single, fast analysis. The new mode is called HR2 imaging.

HR2 imaging - PHI NanoTOF TOF-SIMS

HR² imaging: Images of micro-organic droplets. Peaks for multiple molecular fragments in the spectrum at m/z 57 with high mass resolution, identified by their exact mass. The distribution of each species is visualised with a spatial resolution of less than 400 nm. The single measurement containing all this information took only 6 minutes, due to the high ion beam current of the nanoTOF’s HR² imaging mode.

Cluster Source Ion Guns

Physical Electronics was the first surface analysis manufacturer to offer C60+ and Ar gas cluster ion beam sputtering. The 20 kV C60 ion gun can depth profile most organic and inorganic materials, with high sensitivity for organic spectroscopy. The versatile 20 kV Ar2500+ gas cluster ion beam is ideal for depth profiling organic films.

Cluster source ion gun (TOF-SIMS)

20 kV Ar2500+ gas cluster ion beam for molecular depth profiling organic films. Depth profile of a multi-layer polystyrene and poly (2-vinylpyridine) block copolymer film, acquired by sputtering with a 5 kV Ar2500+ gas cluster ion beam.

PHI NanoTOF cluster source ion gun

High sensitivity imaging and spectroscopy for organic samples. Specific lipids in a brain specimen can be detected and imaged.

3D Chemical Imaging

3D FIB-TOF tomography characterises and images complex matrix chemistries that would not be possible with traditional sputter depth profile analysis. Accurate 3D images are acquired, along with high quality mass spectra throughout the analysis volume. (See example at top of page).

  • TOF-SIMS imaging of FIB sectioned specimens
  • High mass resolution spectra at every pixel
  • 3D imaging software with multi-element overlay capability

Standard Configuration

TRIFT mass analyser
30 kV LMIG with Bi, Au, or Ga emitter
Dual beam charge neutralisation
5 axis sample stage
In-situ optical viewing
Secondary electron detector
WinCadence instrument control and
data reduction software package
Analysis chamber with four primary ion gun ports
350 l/s turbo molecular pump
Integrated bakeout facilities

Optional Accessories

20 kV C60 pulsed ion gun
20 kV Ar2500+ gas cluster ion gun
2 kV Cs ion gun 5 kV gas gun (Ar/O2)
Oxygen flood module
30 kV Ga FIB gun
Hot/Cold sample stage module
Flash cooling for sample intro chamber
High temperature sample stage module
Sample transfer vessel
Intro chamber glove box
Voltage cycling sample stage module
Sample preparation chamber


Application notes are available detailing a wide range of TOF-SIMS applications. Please contact us with details of your area of work for more information.

  • Additive identification
  • PET oligomer identification
  • Polymer characterisation
  • Alloy microstructure imaging
  • Pharmaceutical coatings
  • Laminates
  • Imaging contact lenses
  • Organic LED films
  • And many more – contact us for details

TOF-SIMS images

TOF-SIMS secondary ion images of the surface of a heat-treated sample of PET.

Back to Top