Characterization of copper chloride cluster ions formed in secondary ion mass spectrometry

G. S. Groenewold, A. D. Appelhans, G. L. Gresham, J. C. Ingram, A. D. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The surfaces of copper chloride salts were investigated using three different secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) instruments: a quadrupole instrument equipped with an ReO4 primary ion, a time-of-flight (ToF) instrument equipped with a Ga+ primary ion, and an ion trap instrument equipped with ReO-4. The research was conducted to identify copper chloride species sputtered from the surface of the copper chloride salts and to attempt to relate these species to the composition of the salt. Rich anion spectra were recorded using all three instruments for CuCl2 and CuCl, which were dominated by CuCl-3 and CuCl-2. Other copper chloride adduct ions were also observed at higher masses. An examination of these ions revealed Cu primarily in the +1 and +2 oxidation state, irrespective of the oxidation state of the original salt. The presence of the Cu(+1)-bearing ions originating from the Cu(+2) salt has been attributed to reduction processes occurring during the bombardment event. However, oxidation processes must also be occurring, because Cu(+2)-bearing ions are observed in the spectra of the Cu(+1) salt. In contrast to the anion spectra, the only Cu-bearing cations contained in the CuCl(1,2) spectrum were acquired using the quadrupole- and ToF-SIMS corresponded to Cu+ and low abundance Cu2Cl+ and Cu3Cl+2 [(all Cu(+1)]. CuCl(1,2) were further investigated using the ion trap SIMS instrument: in these analyses, abundant cation clusters could be observed in addition to Cu+. The ions have been grouped into one of four categories: highly oxidized, one e- oxidized, redox neutral, and reduced. The most abundant species were redox neutral [e.g. (CuCl2)2CuCl+)] and one e- oxidized (e.g. (CuCl2)+3). (Int J Mass Spectrom 178 (1998) 19-29)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 19 1998


  • Cluster ions
  • Copper chloride
  • Ion trap
  • MS/MS
  • SIMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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