We have developed and are in the process of testing an ion time-of-flight (TOF) detector system for use in our ion microtomography measurements. Using TOF, ion energy is determined by measurement of the ion's flight time over a certain path length. For ion microtomography, the principle advantage of TOF analysis is that ion count rates of several hundred thousand counts per second can be achieved as compared to a limit of about ten thousand ions per second when using a solid-state silicon surface barrier detector and associated electronics. This greater than 10-fold increase in count rate correspondingly shortens sample analysis time or increases the amount of data that can be collected on a given sample. © 1993.
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