Static SIMS investigation of tetraethylammonium bromide on soil particles using ReO4- and Ga+ projectiles

G. S. Groenewold, A. K. Gianotto, J. E. Olson, A. D. Appelhans, J. C. Ingram, J. E. Delmore, A. D. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Tetraethylammonium (TEN+) adsorbed to soil particles (primarily silicate) was investigated using static secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in order to assess the behavior of the adsorbate under atomic and polyatomic projectile bombardment. Three different instruments were used for the investigation: a quadrupole-SIMS instrument equipped with a ReO4- primary ion gun; an ion trap SIMS instrument equipped with ReO4-; and an imaging time-of-flight (ToF) SIMS equipped with Ga+. In all experiments, TEN+ was observed to decrease in abundance with increasing primary ion dose. The disappearance cross-section (σ130) for intact TEN+ (m/z 130), induced by ReO4-, was measured at 670 Å2 using the quadrupole, and 560 Å2 using the ion trap. The σ130 induced by Ga+ was measured at 450 Å2 using the ToF-SIMS, indicating that the polyatomic projectile was perturbing an area 20-50% larger than the monoatomic. These values are significantly larger than Ga+-induced cross-sections in the literature (100-200 Å2), for similar compounds in a more fluid matrix (gelatin). The comparison was extended by measuring the cross-section using ReO4- projectiles and a gelatin matrix: σ130 in this case was 480 Å2, which is of the order of 150% greater than the same experiment using Ga+. It is concluded that ReO4- produces a larger σ than does Ga+. In addition, the results suggest that disappearance cross-sections are larger on a refractory solid surface (silicate), than they are on a fluid surface (gelatin). The minimum detection limit was estimated for TEN+ on soil using ReO4- with the quadrupole SIMS instrument, at approximately 5 × 10-4 monolayers (ML), which corresponds to about 500 ppb. Consideration of this result suggests that a lower detection limit may be achievable using a brighter primary ion beam together with a trapped ion mass spectrometer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Processes
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Disappearance cross section
  • Polyatomic projectile
  • SIMS
  • Soil particles
  • Tetraethylammonium bromide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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