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October 18, 2017

MDC Vacuum Products, LLC has had the pleasure of working with Physical Electronics (a subsidiary of ULVAC-PHI, the world’s leading supplier of UHV surface analysis instrumentation) supplying them with catalog in-vacuum motion and manipulation products for their revolutionary
nanoTOF II Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (TOF-SIMS). The nanoTOF II provides sensitivity, low spectral background, and the unique ability to image highly topographic surfaces.


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As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), PHI needed an established, reliable, and high-quality source for the specialized components on their instruments. With over 40 years’ experience as a leading supplier of vacuum technology components to OEMs, MDC had the qualifications and capability to meet PHI’s requirements and uphold their high standard of quality and innovation. Every nanoTOF II instrument comes equipped with MDC catalog vacuum components, which include a Pneumatic Linear Motion Feedthrough (P/N 662002) and a Compact XYZ Stage (P/N 678004).


“Our innovative technologies provide our customers with
unique tools to solve challenging problems, and accelerate
the development of new materials and products.”

– Scott Bryan, President, Physical Electronics USA


PHI NanoTOF II with Parallel Imaging MS/MS for Confident Molecular Identification



Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) provides elemental, chemical state, and molecular information from surfaces of solid materials. The average depth of analysis for a TOF-SIMS measurement is approximately 1 nm. Physical Electronics TOF-SIMS instruments provide an ultimate spatial resolution of less than 0.1 μm. Spatial distribution information is obtained by scanning a micro focused ion beam across the sample surface. Depth distribution information is obtained by combining TOF-SIMS measurements with ion milling (sputtering) to characterize a thin film structure. In addition, the Physical Electronics TOF-SIMS instrument provides a unique 3D analysis capability that combines in-situ focused ion beam sectioning with high-mass resolution and high spatial resolution imaging (HR2) to provide 3D chemical characterization. Information obtained from TOF-SIMS is important for many industrial and research applications where surface or thin film composition plays a critical role in performance including: nanomaterials, photovoltaics, polymer surface modification, catalysis, corrosion, adhesion, semiconductor devices and packaging, magnetic media, display technology, thin film coatings, and medical materials used for numerous applications.


Standard Features

• TRIFT Mass Analyzer                                                  • Secondary Electron Detector
• 30 kV LMIG with Bi, Au, or Ga Emitter                        • WinCadence Instrument Control and Data Reduction Software Package
• Dual Beam Charge Neutralization                               • Analysis Chamber with Four Primary Ion Gun Ports
• 5 Axis Sample Stage                                                   • 350 l/s Turbo Molecular Pump
• In-Situ Optical Viewing                                                • Integrated Bakeout Facilities

Optional Features

• MS/MS Analyzer and Electronics Package                 • Oxygen Flood Module
• 20 kV C60 Pulsed Ion Gun                                          • 30 kV Ga FIB Gun
• 20 kV Ar2500+ Gas Cluster Ion Gun                           • Hot/Cold Sample Stage Module
• 2 kV Cs Ion Gun                                                          • Flash Cooling For Sample Intro Chamber
• 5 kV Gas Gun (Ar/O2)                                                 • Intro Chamber Glove Box
• Sample Transfer Vessel                                              • High Temperature Sample Stage Module


Tof SIMS from brochure


PHI’s nanoTOF II time-of-flight SIMS is an extremely sensitive instrument and requires ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions to operate. This makes it necessary to implement highly specialized materials and components that can withstand an ultra-high vacuum environment. MDC Vacuum Products, LLC’s UHV expertise made them PHI’s top choice for sourcing their critical linear motion feedthroughs for their nanoTOF II’s spectrometer system. MDC’s UHV pneumatic linear motion feedthrough (P/N 662002) incorporates a welded stainless steel bellows and linear bearing shaft supports to deliver quick, accurate, and smooth linear motion in a UHV environment.


MDC Pneumatic Linear Motion Feedthrough - TOF Mass Spectrometry
MDC’s UHV pneumatic linear motion feedthrough (P/N 662002) shown here on PHI’s nanoTOF II TOF-SIMS


“The MDC pneumatic feedthrough is an integral part
of the heart of our mass spectrometry imaging
instrument…the spectrometer. The MDC pneumatic
feedthrough operates and does its job without fail.
We never even give it a thought because it’s so

– Gregory L. Fisher, PhD, Principal Scientist at Physical Electronics


MDC Vacuum Products - Pneumatic Linear Motion Feedthroughs and Diagram


Buy Now Linear Motion Feedthrough PN 662002

Physical Electronics TOF-SIMS instruments function in a manner analogous to SEM/EDS instruments that use a finely focused electron beam to create SEM images for sample viewing and point spectra or to create images for compositional analysis. In contrast to SEM/EDS which has a typical analysis depth of 1-3 μm, TOF-SIMS is a surface analysis technique with a typical analysis depth of less than 2 nm and is, therefore, better suited for the compositional analysis of ultra-thin layers and nanoscale sample features. In addition, TOF-SIMS can be used to characterize molecular information from organic materials and tissue sections for medical research that would not be possible with SEM/EDS.


Physical Electronics NanoTofSIMS


In TOF-SIMS analysis, the ion’s mass is calculated based on the time the ion takes to travel through the analyzer. To achieve the ultimate mass resolution (the ability to resolve different ions with very small mass differences) the kinetic energy spread and solid angle of acceptance need to be restricted. The MDC linear motion feedthrough accomplishes this by moving an aperture in or out of the path of the signal. The pneumatic movement allows quick control of the aperture to select high angular acceptance mode or highest mass resolution mode, depending on the application.



Due to limitations in mass accuracy and mass resolution, high mass peaks often go unidentified in traditional TOF-SIMS experiments. PHI’s new revolutionary Parallel Imaging MS/MS option eliminates this limitation. In the MS/MS mode, a precursor ion is deflected into a high energy collision induced dissociation (CID) cell while the rest of the secondary ions are collected as usual (MS1 data). In the CID cell, the precursor ions collide with argon gas causing fragmentation. The resulting fragment ions are mass-separated in a linear TOF and counted at a second pulse counting detector, producing a full MS/MS spectrum (MS2). Thus, the MS/MS and traditional TOF-SIMS data are collected simultaneously from the same analytical area in a single experiment.

One of the critical components in the Parallel Imaging MS/MS system is the precision optic used for the ion mass selection of the precursor ions. The MDC Compact XYZ stage (P/N 678004) provides the highest level of accurate and consistent 3-dimensional positioning of the precision optic for ion transmission and resolution optimization.


MDC’s Compact XYZ Stage (P/N 678004)) shown here on PHI’s nanoTOF II TOF-SIMS
MDC’s Compact XYZ Stage (P/N 678004) shown here on PHI’s nanoTOF II TOF-SIMS


 Buy Now MDC Vacuum Products Compact XYZ Stage pn 678004


MDC Vacuum Products Linear motion and XYZ Feedthrough



MDC Vacuum Products, LLC, an ISO 9001:2008 registered company, has been committed to providing high-quality and competitively priced vacuum components for over 40 years. MDC combines this extensive experience with dedication to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction to consistently meet and exceed clients’ expectations. They are here for all your vacuum needs, from standard valves, gaskets, and seals, to custom made unique vacuum chambers.

Are you an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or do you have any vacuum product needs? Let MDC show you why they are an industry leader and how they can drive your mass spectrometry process forward!