Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer

Secondary ion mass spectrometers offer the possibility of investigating comet matter and interstellar dust particles with a nanoscale resolution (Nano-SIMS). The Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry in Mainz developed in cooperation with the French company Cameca and the Laboratory for Space Sciences of the Washington University of St. Louis, a secondary ion mass spectrometer for applications in space, which was taken into operation in the year 2001. The SIMS method finds a broad application in cosmo chemistry and is used e.g. for the investigation of interstellar dust particles, which have diameters varying between a few nm and some |im. The nano-SIMS is expected to provide important findings in connection with the galactic chemical evolution as well as the chemistry of atmospheric aerosol particles.

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