EMSL's new-generation ion microprobe (NanoSIMS) extends secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses to spatial resolutions below 100 nm while maintaining high sensitivity at high mass resolution (e.g., ppm sensitivity for isotopic imaging while resolving isobaric interferences). NanoSIMS can measure up to seven secondary ions in parallel, offering high-quality isotopic ratio imaging from the same small volume while maintaining perfect image superimposition. NanoSIMS can be used for enhanced, simultaneous, nanoscale imaging of elements/isotopes of inorganic and organic surfaces in environmental samples, sub-cellular structures, minerals, and atmospheric aerosols. EMSL is the first user facility in the United States to make a NanoSIMS capability available to users.
- Supporting the Cell Signaling and Communications Integrated Research Platform, NanoSIMS can localize elements and isotopes in single cells or populations.
- Supporting the Biogeochemical Transformations Integrated Research Platform, NanoSIMS can add spatial context to biogeochemical systems at sub-mm scales or perform spatially resolved high-precision isotope ratio analyses.
- Supporting the Terrestrial-Atmosphere Processes Integrated Research Platform, NanoSIMS can visualize isotopic tracers and collocate microbes with specific minerals and elements.
- Supporting the Rhizosphere Function Integrated Research Platform, NanoSIMS can track isotopically labeled nutrient fluxes across the rhizosphere or in situ in plant tissues.
NanoSIMS 50L (available 10 hours/day, 5 days/week)
- detection of all isotopes from hydrogen to uranium
- simultaneous collection of seven masses
- parts per million detection limits or below (dependent on spatial resolution)
- isotopic imaging to 50 nm resolution possible (100 nm typical)
- 1 amu separation of isotope up to m/z 58 (simultaneous collection of iron isotopes possible)
- detection and quantification of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in single procaryotes below 10% relative enrichment (Δ100‰)
Tips for success
Sample preparation often limits the quality of NanoSIMS analyses. We strongly recommend contacting us before starting your experiments. We can recommend strategies that optimize the probability of success.