Internal Energy Distribution of Secondary Ions Under Argon and Bismuth Cluster Bombardments: “Soft” Versus “Hard” Desorption–Ionization Process

  • Tingting Fu
  • Serge Della-Negra
  • David TouboulEmail author
  • Alain Brunelle
Research Article


The emission/ionization process under massive argon cluster bombardment was investigated by measuring the internal energy distributions of a series of benzylpyridinium ions. Argon clusters with kinetic energies between 10 and 20 keV and cluster sizes ranging from 500 to 10,000 were used to establish the influence of their size, energy, and velocity on the internal energy distribution of the secondary ions. It is shown that the internal energy distribution of secondary ions principally depends on the energy per atom or the velocity of the cluster ion beam (E/nv2). Under low energy per atom (E/n ˂ 10 eV), the mean internal energy and fragmentation yield increase rapidly with the incident energy of individual constituents. Beyond 10 eV/atom impact (up to 40 eV/atom), the internal energy reaches a plateau and remains constant. Results were compared with those generated from bismuth cluster impacts for which the mean internal energies correspond well to the plateau values for argon clusters. However, a significant difference was found between argon and bismuth clusters concerning the damage or disappearance cross section. A 20 times smaller disappearance cross section was measured under 20 keV Ar2000+ impact compared to 25 keV Bi5+ bombardment, thus quantitatively showing the low damage effect of large argon clusters for almost the same molecular ion yield.

Graphical Abstract


TOF-SIMS Internal energy Bismuth cluster Argon cluster Benzylpyridinium ion 



This work was supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (grant ANR-2015-CE29-0007-01 DEFIMAGE). TF would like to acknowledge financial support from China Scholarship Council (CSC, No. 201406310013) for her PhD studies [25].

Supplementary material

13361_2018_2090_MOESM1_ESM.docx (5.1 mb)
Fig. S1 (DOCX 5177 kb)
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Fig. S2 (DOCX 3345 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, CNRS UPR 2301Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  2. 2.Institut de Physique Nucléaire, UMR 8608, IN2P3-CNRSUniversité University Paris-Sud, Université Paris-SaclayOrsayFrance

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