The accuracy and precision of isotopic analysis in Time-of-Flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) relies on the appropriate reduction of the dead-time and detector saturation effects, especially when analyzing species with high ion yields or present in high concentrations. Conventional approaches to avoid these problems are based on Poisson dead-time correction and/or an overall decrease of the total secondary ion intensity by reducing the target current. This ultimately leads to poor detection limits for the minor isotopes and high uncertainties of the measured isotopic ratios. An alternative strategy consists of the attenuation of those specific secondary ions that saturate the detector, providing an effective extension of the linear dynamic range. In this work, the selective attenuation of secondary ion signals (SASI) approach is applied to the study of oxygen transport properties in electroceramic materials by isotopic labeling with stable 18O tracer and ToF-SIMS depth profiling. The better analytical performance in terms of accuracy and precision allowed a more reliable determination of the oxygen surface exchange and diffusion coefficients while maintaining good mass resolution and limits of detection for other minor secondary ion species. This improvement is especially relevant to understand the ionic transport mechanisms and properties of solid materials, such as the parallel diffusion pathways (e.g., oxygen diffusion through bulk, grain boundary, or dislocations) in electroceramic materials with relevant applications in energy storage and conversion devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry