Introduction to Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry in the Earth Sciences

Currently planned for 15 to 19 November 2021

Please Note: A final decision as to whether we will be able to hold the SIMS course this year will be made on 15 October 2021.  Geoscientists interested in this topic are encouraged to register ealry for this course, as the maximum number of people that can be accommodated will be half that of normal years.

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 2021 (subject to change):

Mon, 15 Nov Introduction
09:00 - 13:00 Introduction to SIMS basics including vacuum technology
14:00 - 15:00 Initial visit to the Cameca 1280-HR laboratory
14:30 - 16:30 The design specifications of magnetic sector SIMS instruments
Tue, 16 Nov SIMS Calibration and trace element analyses
09:00 - 13:00 The theory and practical aspects of SIMS trace element analyses
14:00 - 15:00 Visits to GFZ analytical facilities and subsequent discussions
Wed, 17 Nov SIMS Isotopic Ratio Determinations
09:00 - 13:00 Isotope ratio measurements using SIMS
14:00 - 16:30 Laboratory work using the Cameca 1280-HR instrument                
.... including practical exercise with data reduction
Thu, 18 Nov Geochronology
09:00 - 13:00 SIMS-based geochronology
14:00 - 16:30 Laboratory work using the Cameca 1280-HR Instrument            
.... including practical exercise with data reduction
Fri, 19 Nov Depth Profiling an Ion Imaging
09:00 - 12:30 Theoretical aspects of depth profiles and ion imaging                
13:30 - 15:30 Final exam and discussion


Maximum Number of Participants: 16
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.




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


Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

SIMS Laboratory
Section 3.1
14473 Potsdam

Head of SIMS Group

Dr. Michael Wiedenbeck

Tel: +49 331 288-1484