Open Position at Colorado School of Mines
Mar 13, 2018
The Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC) is seeking a well-qualified technician to operate, perform tests, train researchers, and develop and maintain procedures for a new TOF.SIMS 5.
The instrument will be delivered in July of 2018 and will be located in the Multiscale Materials Characterization Facility in the CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines.
If you would like to learn more about this interesting job offer please go to
SurfaceLab 6.8 Update (1)
Mar 05, 2018
SurfaceLab 6 version 6.8 build 96727 (bugfixing release 1) has just been released and is available for download from our download area:
IONTOF Download Area
The new setup does not include the online help files anymore. The help package is installed using the new separate setup program. This arrangement allows us to update the online help more frequently and independently from software releases. You will find the new online help setup on our download area too.
Nature Energy Paper about Tailored Interfaces of Unencapsulated Perovskite Solar Cells
Feb 26, 2018
During recent years perovskite solar cells have been the rising star of the photovoltaics research. Due to huge improvements in the engineering of perovskite formulations and the fabrication, significant increases in power conversion efficiency (PCE) could be achieved. Recent devices reach over 22% PCE, which makes the technology a promising candidate for inexpensive solar energy production. However, long-term device stability is currently the most pressing issue that impedes perovskite solar cell commercialization.
Scientists at NREL and the Colorado School of Mines have now demonstrated that degradation of perovskite solar cells operating in ambient conditions is driven primarily by deterioration of interfaces in the device stack. In this study they systematically modified the interfaces and designed cells that retained 94% of the original PCE after 1,000 hours of continual unencapsulated operation.
If you would like to learn more about this interesting work and how TOF-SIMS was used to characterize the interfaces please go to…
Nature Energy, VOL 3, JANUARY 2018, 68–74
SurfaceLab 6.8 Release
Feb 23, 2018
Secondary ion image of an organic multilayer system after wedge preparation.
SurfaceLab 6.8 has been released today. The new version comes with a multitude of new features and refinements which will further improve the way you work with your instrument and handle your data. A few of the many new options are:
Fully intergated wedge preparation
This new functions allows for easy generation of bevels with all the standard sputter guns. The option is fully integrated into the SurfaceLab Navigator and does not require the FIB option (USB-TDC only).
Depth scale calibration with sectional sputter rates
This new option allows for the calibration of depth profiles using sectional sputter yields / erosion rates. This is extremly useful if depth profiles of multilayer systems with changing sputter rates need to be calibrated.
Automated sputter current optimisation (for DSC-S)
The software can now automatically optimise the sputter current of the DSC-S sputter column. This makes the system start-up and recalibration even more reliable and user friendly.
The new release is available for download from our download area:
IONTOF download area
ToF-SIMS and other surface spectroscopies applied to the study of ancient artifacts: Preliminary investigation of a tetradrachm of Claudius
Feb 05, 2018
The Ontario Centre for the Characterisation of Advanced Materials at the University of Toronto published a paper about the application of ToF-SIMS, XPS, EDX to investigate ancient coins. The coins are part of the Diniacopoulos collection of Central and Eastern Mediterranean antiquities housed at Queen's University.
In this first study protocols were developed to gain information on the composition and distribution of the various chemical components at the coins surfaces and bulks. In a second study it is hoped that by comparing the results on the different coins, information on how the coins were made can be elucidated. This information could then be used to develop the most appropriated conservation treatment and preservation strategies. If you would like to read the full paper please go to:
Obituary for Professor Alfred Benninghoven
Jan 08, 2018
With deep sorrow we announce that Professor Dr Alfred Benninghoven passed away on Dec 22, 2017 at the age of eighty-five.
With Alfred Benninghoven, the SIMS community loses one of its most notable pioneers. He influenced the development of static SIMS like no one else and laid the scientific foundation for the successful, worldwide spread of the technique.
After studying physics in Paris and Cologne he started to work in the group of Professor Fritz Kirchner, a well-known German nuclear physicist, at the University of Cologne. In 1961 he graduated and received his post-doctoral lecture qualification in 1965. In 1973 he became a professor for experimental physics at the University of Muenster and held this position until his retirement in 1997. During this time, more than 160 master and PhD students graduated from his group and over 300 papers were published under his supervision.
Alfred Benninghoven was a passionate and gifted scientist. The basis of his success, along with his impressive creative power and expertise, was a remarkable determination and professionalism, which made him one of the leading pioneers in the SIMS field for nearly half a century. His book “Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry: Basic Concepts, Instrumental Aspects, Applications, and Trends”, published in 1987 together with Professor Friedrich Ruedenauer and Professor Helmut Werner, is still regarded as a crucial source of reference.
In 1977 he set up and organised the first international SIMS conference at the University of Muenster. He acted as chairman of this well-established conference until SIMS XV. He was also very active as a thorough editor for the SIMS proceedings. In 1981 he initiated and organised a second biennial conference with the focus on ion formation from organic solids (IFOS). The subject of the conference was the rapidly developing field of ion formation from involatile, thermally labile organic compounds. The event was held in Muenster until IFOS IV. In 1999, he initiated the successful series of biennial European SIMS conferences in Muenster and was head of the local organising committee until 2008.
Alfred Benninghoven was also recognised and decorated for his engagement in different research organisations. He was president of the German Vacuum Society from 1977 to 1983 and received the Gaede-Langmuir Award of the American Vacuum Society for the development of concepts and instrumentation in static secondary ion mass spectrometry and the demonstration of its usefulness in manifold applications in 1984. The development of ToF-SIMS instrumentation and applications was acknowledged by the German Ministry of Education and Research with the Technology Transfer prize in 1988. He was also awarded the Fritz-Pregl-Medal of the Austrian Society of Analytical Chemistry in 1990.
In 1989 he founded the company IONTOF together with his co-workers Dr Ewald Niehuis and Thomas Heller, in order to commercialise the original research carried out at the University of Muenster.
In 1997 he was a co-founder of Tascon GmbH, a testing laboratory specialised in Time-of-Flight SIMS, managed by Dr Birgit Hagenhoff.
Despite all his achievements Alfred Benninghoven always remained a modest and approachable person. He will be remembered as a great researcher, teacher, mentor and important dialogue partner.
Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends.
Dr. Ewald Niehuis and Thomas Heller
 Benninghoven, A. (2011), The development of SIMS and international SIMS conferences: a personal retrospective view. Surf. Interface Anal., 43: 2–11. doi:10.1002/sia.3688
Innovative molecular imaging instrument at NPL provides new insights into drug discovery and cell biology
Nov 14, 2017
Nature Methods published a paper written by Dr Melissa K Passarelli and Prof Ian S Gilmore from the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) highlighting the unparalleled capabilities of the exciting new 3D OrbiSIMS. The paper gives a comprehensive overview of the remarkable performance and the potential of the new instrument for label-free imaging of drugs and metabolites which can be seen as a major step in realising the dream of super-resolution metabolic imaging.
Following Prof Ian S Gilmore original idea, IONTOF and Thermo Fisher ScientificTM developed the 3D OrbiSIMS in close cooperation with the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI), GlaxoSmithKline, and the School of Pharmacy of the University of Nottingham.
In the last few years it has become apparent that for a successful application of SIMS in life science, excellent imaging performance in combination with highest mass resolution, extreme mass accuracy and high-resolution MS/MS are essential. The 3D OrbiSIMS combines the strengths of high-speed ToF imaging with the high mass-resolving power, high mass accuracy and MS/MS capability of the Q ExactiveTMHF from Thermo Fisher ScientificTM and has the potential to provide critical insight on fundamental biological processes.
With the new Hybrid SIMS, a combination of the TOF.SIMS 5 and the Q ExactiveTMHF, IONTOF now offers a commercial version of the 3D OrbiSIMS.
Nature Methods paper: The 3D OrbiSIMS – Label-Free Metabolic Imaging with Sub-cellular Lateral Resolution and High Mass Resolving Power’, Passarelli et al., Nature Methods, DOI 10.1038/nmeth.4504.
Nature Methods Paper
Felix Kollmer receives Peter M. A. Sherwood Mid-Career Professional Award
Nov 06, 2017
Felix Kollmer has been a team leader in the IONTOF R&D group for many years and his work in the field of bismuth cluster beam technology is playing a significant role in IONTOF's long-standing success. During the recent AVS Felix Kollmer was honoured with the Peter M. A. Sherwood Mid-Career Professional Award for his development of significant technological advancements related to TOF-SIMS analytical instrumentation, specifically the Bi and BiMn cluster ion sources, and for analytical improvements in spectrometer technology, and high spatial resolution imaging. The award recognizes achievements leading to exceptional progress in research and development made by professionals in their mid-career.
We are happy to have Felix as a member of our team and are looking forward to seeing many product innovations in the future.
User's Dinner at SIMS XXI
Sep 19, 2017
During SIMS XXI in Krakow, Poland, IONTOF organized a really nice user's dinner at the Hotel Pod Róza. With 170 customers from all over the world it was the biggest IONTOF conference event so far. For us at IONTOF it was a great pleasure to see so many members of our rapidly growing user's community and to share Polish hospitality.
It was really a great evening with many interesting talks in a nice atmosphere and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again next time!