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SIMS analytics of quartz

Renno, A.

Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), as a high-precision, spatially resolved analytical method, is an alternative to the standard LA-ICP-MS and EPMA methods of quartz analysis. Quartz, with its "notoriously low" trace element contents, presented a welcome challenge from the beginning of the routine application of SIMS methods in mineralogy. In the course of instrument development, there has been an increasingly intensive instrumental differentiation of SIMS instruments. Today, it is possible to analyze almost all naturally occurring elements (H-U), isotope ratios as well as molecular ions and molecular fragments with resolutions from the millimeter to the nanometer range using SIMS. In principle, this allows its use in solving a variety of scientific problems closely related to quartz. Examples are the clarification of crystallochemical questions of the incorporation of different ions into the quartz lattice, questions of element diffusion (e.g. Li, Ti or H) in quartz, the determination of causes for certain spectroscopic features (e.g. CL or EPR), the reconstruction of formation conditions via isotope ratios (O, Si, Li or H), the application of geothermometers (e.g. TitaniQ), the mechanical behavior of quartz as a function of hydrogen content, provenance analyses for natural rocks but also archaeological artifacts, exploration-related questions for quartz deposits and in particular for deposits in which quartz occurs as a genetic-critical accompanying mineral, up to problems of quality testing and quality assurance of high-purity quartz and the engineering evaluation of processing technologies in particular flotation for quartz extraction.
The main limitation of SIMS is the extreme matrix dependence of secondary ion yield. This requires the use of meticulously characterized reference materials (Audétat et al., 2015). New promising developments in this field will be presented (Nachlas, 2016; Wu et al., 2019).
New instrumental developments such as the positive ion SIMS-SSAMS (Grabowski et al., 2019), the Super-SIMS (Rugel et al., 2016) or SIMS analysis in specially modified helium microscopes (Wirtz et al., 2019) and associated enhanced analytical capabilities of quartz will be presented.


Audétat, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Kronz, A., Pettke, T., Rusk, B., Donovan, J.J. and Lowers, H.A. (2015) Characterisation of a Natural Quartz Crystal as a Reference Material for Microanalytical Determination of Ti, Al, Li, Fe, Mn, Ga and Ge. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 39, 171-184.
Grabowski, K.S., Groopman, E.E., Rock, B.Y. and Imam, M.A. (2019) Positive ion SIMS-SSAMS for trace analysis of materials. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 455, 158-164.
Nachlas, W.O. (2016) Precise and Accurate Doping of Nanoporous Silica Gel for the Synthesis of Trace Element Microanalytical Reference Materials. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 40, 505-516.
Rugel, G., Pavetich, S., Akhmadaliev, S., Baez, S.M.E., Scharf, A., Ziegenrucker, R. and Merchel, S. (2016) The first four years of the AMS-facility DREAMS: Status and developments for more accurate radionuclide data. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section B-Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 370, 94-100.
Wirtz, T., Castro, O.D., Audinot, J.-N. and Philipp, P. (2019) Imaging and Analytics on the Helium Ion Microscope. Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry 12, 523-543.
Wu, H., Böttger, R., Couffignal, F., Gutzmer, J., Krause, J., Munnik, F., Renno, A.D., Hübner, R., Wiedenbeck, M. and Ziegenrücker, R. (2019) ‘Box-Profile’ Ion Implants as Geochemical Reference Materials for Electron Probe Microanalysis and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 43, 531-541.

Keywords: SIMS; Mineralogy; Geochemistry; Quartz

  • Lecture (Conference)
    QUARTZ2021 - International Symposium on Quartz, 05.-07.09.2021, Tønsberg, Norge

Publ.-Id: 33110