Secondary ion mass spectrometry of sodium nitrate: Comparison of ReO4- and Cs+ primary ions

G. S. Groenewold, J. E. Delmore, J. E. Olson, A. D. Appelhans, J. C. Ingram, D. A. Dahl

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48 Scopus citations


The use of perrhenate (rhenium tetroxide, ReO4-) as a bombarding particle was compared with Cs+ for its ability to generate molecular species from sodium nitrate. The purpose of the study was to quantitatively evaluate the enhancement in sputtering to be gained using a heavy, polyatomic primary particle. It was found that ReO4- is three to five times more efficient at generating ions such as Na2NO3+ and Na(NO3)2-. The nitrate-bearing molecular ions were observed to decrease in intensity as primary ion dose increases; at the same time, nitrite-bearing ions were observed to increase. This observation is interpreted in terms of beam damage to the surface of the target. Disappearance cross sections (σ) using ReO4- bombardment were measured as 960 and 690Å2 for Na2NO3+ and Na(NO3)2-, respectively. σ values measured using Cs+ bombardment were slightly larger. These measurements show that for an equivalent area of the sample disrupted, ReO4- is more effective for the production of nitrate-bearing secondary ions, which increases the probability of completing a measurement before extensive beam damage occurs. Secondary ion energies were evaluated and shown to be comparable for the ReO4- and Cs+ bombardment experiments; for this reason, sample charging is not deemed to be a significant factor in these experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cesium
  • Disappearance cross section
  • Perrhenate
  • Secondary ion mass spectrometry
  • Sputter yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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