Introduction to Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry in the Earth Sciences
13 to 17 November 2017

Optional visits to other Helmholtz SIMS facilities in Dresden (Super SIMS) and Leipzig (NanoSIMS and ToF-SIMS)

   19 to 21 November 2017


The 2017 SIMS short course will again be under the auspices of both the International Association of Geoanalysts and the Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft.

People wishing to register their interest in this course should send an e-mail to Michael.Wiedenbeck(at) putting "SIMS Short course" in the subject heading.

This short course is intended for PhD students and young researchers who have little or no experience in the field of SIMS technology.  However, participants will be expected to be familiar with the basics of analytical geochemistry; a general familiarity with EPMA analyses is a prerequisite.  Practical exercises involving the calculation of quantitative results from real measurement data will require a basic knowledge of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program.  This course will provide initial contact with SIMS technology and is intended for all students and post-docs and other researchers who wish to use the Potsdam Cameca 1280-HR user facility.  Other analytical geochemists with a general interest in SIMS technology are also welcome to sign-up for the course. Participants will be exposed to all basic aspects of SIMS: fundamentals of vacuum technology, theory of secondary ion generation and matrix effects, data assessment and realistic assessment of this technique's strengths and limitations.  A limited amount of contact with the Cameca 1280-HR facility as well as other peripheral instrumentation will be part of the laboratory part of this course.

NOTE: Participants are required to bring their own laptop with them and should be able to process .xls, .pdf and .jpg files. Laptops must be capable of WLAN access, for which an individual user password will be issued.

This short course is recognized as part of the curriculum of the Free University of Berlin.  All participants who successfully complete the entire programme will receive two points under the European Credit Transfer Scheme.

Course Outline (subject to change):

Monday, 13 November 2017 (Introduction)
09:00 - 12:30 Introduction to SIMS basics including vacuum technology
13:30 - 14:30 Initial visit to the Cameca 1280-HR laboratory
14:30-16:30 - The design specifications of magnetic sector SIMS instruments

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 (SIMS Calibration and trace element analyses)
09:00 - 12:30 The theory and practical aspects of SIMS trace element analyses
13:30 - 16:30 Visits to GFZ analytical facilities and subsequent discussion

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 (SIMS Isotopic Ratio Determinations)
09:00 - 12:30 Isotope ratio measurements using SIMS
13:30 - 16:30 Laboratory work using the Cameca 1280-HR instrument
and practical exercise with data reduction

Thursday, 16 November 2017 (Geochronology and Depth Profiling)
09:00 - 12:30 SIMS-based geochronology
13:30-14:30 SIMS as a tool for diffusion studies
14:30 - 16:30 Laboratory work using the Cameca 1280-HR Instrument
and practical exercise with data reduction

Friday, 17 November 2017 (Ion Imaging and Particle Search)
09:00 - 12:00 Introduction to dynamic secondary ion imaging
13:00 - 15:00 Final exam and discussion

Maximum Number of Participants: 35
Venue: GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Haus H ground level
Workshop leader: Dr. Michael Wiedenbeck
There will be no charges for course participation, however participants will be responsible for covering their own travel and accommodation costs while in Potsdam. Information concerning travel and accommodation in Potsdam is available under the travel section of the GFZ's SIMS Web Site.



Short Course participants wishing to see other SIMS facilities can register for a group visit to the two other SIMS facilities within the Helmholtz SIMS network. The schedule for the optional two additional days is:

Sunday, 19 November 2017: Travel to Dresden in the afternoon

Monday, 20 November 2016 (Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf)

09:00 to 12:00: Theory and design of SUPER SIMS instruments

13:00 to 15:30: Visit to Super SIMS facility and peripheral instrumentation

16:00 to 18:30: Train travel in a group to Leipzig

Tuesday, 21 November 2016 (Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung Leipzig)

09:00 to 12:00: Theory and design of NanoSIMS and ToF-SIMS instrumentation

13.00 to 16:30: Visit to NanoSIMS and ToF-SIMS laboratories and peripheral instrumentation


The optional trip will the end at 16:30 on Tuesday 15 November in Leipzig, and participants will be responsible for their onward travel arrangements. Participants in the extra two day excursion to Dresden and Leipzig will need to cover their travel and accommodation costs, which can be expected to be an additional EUR 300. When registering for the short course you will have the opportunity to indicate a desire to participate in the excursion too. This additional offering will be confirmed by the end of September 2017.

Maximum number of participants for the excursion: 16

Minimum number of participants for the excursion: 10




Our Area Code:      +49 331
1280-HR Lab:     288-28915
Operator Room:  288-28916
Prep Room:        288-28917
FAX:                   288-1474

SIMS Laboratory
Section 3.1
Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam
14473 Potsdam

Head of SIMS Group

Dr. Michael Wiedenbeck

Tel: +49 331 288-1484