Introduction to Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry in the Earth Sciences

17 to 21 April 2023

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.  The course syllabus will be distributed at to all participants at the beginning of the 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.

Course Outline 2023:

Monday, 17 April             Introduction to SIMS and microanalyses
09:00 - 13:00 Microanalytical methods
13:45 - 16:30 SIMS fundamentals and high vacuum systems           
.... including Short visit to the 1280-HR laboratory
Tuesday, 18 April      Trace Element Analyses
09:00 - 13:00 Analytical Strategies
13:45 - 16:30 Matrix effects and machine calibration          
.... including Visit to analytical laboratories at GFZ
Wednesday, 19 April Isotope Ratio Determinations
09:00 - 13:00 Fundamentals of isotope ratio determinations
13:45 - 16:30 Statistical methods
.... including data reduction exercises
Thursday, 20 April Geochronology
09:00 - 13:00 U-Pb zircon analyses
13:45 - 16:30 Other mineral systems        
.... including Zircon data reduction & visit to SIMS lab
Friday, 21 April             Zircon Analyses, Depth Profiling and Imaging
09:00 - 13:00 Depth Profiling and Ion Imaging           
13:45 - 16:00 Exam and final discussion

Maximum Number of Participants: 30
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 (travel info).

People wishing to register their interest for the SIMS short course should please download the pdf file, complete it and then return it to the workshop leader: michael.wiedenbeck(at) .




Our Area Code:      + 49-331
1280-HR Lab:      6264-28915
Operator Room:   6264-27840
Prep Room:         6264-28917


Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

SIMS Laboratory
Section 3.1
14473 Potsdam

Head of SIMS Group

Dr. Michael Wiedenbeck

Tel: +49 331 6264-1484