C60 Ion Beams
The C60 molecule is an allotrope of carbon consisting of sixty carbon atoms arranged in the shape of a football. Also known as Buckminsterfullerene or simply “buckyballs”, C60 makes an excellent ion beam for surface analysis. Ionoptika produced the first commercial C60 ion source in 2022 and has sold hundreds worldwide since then.
C60 makes an excellent ion source due to its reliability, long lifetime, ease of use, and fine focus ability (300 nm). It is also gentle. As the energy of the ion is spread across 60 different atoms instead of one or two, each ion does far less damage than ions such as gallium, gold, or bismuth. C60 ions also deliver consistent sputter yields across many materials. The molecule’s large diameter prevents channelling as it can not easily pass through the atomic lattice.
C60 is an excellent ion source for sputter-cleaning surfaces for techniques such as XPS. Although gas cluster ion beams have grown in popularity for organic analysis, there are still many applications for which C60 is best. For SIMS analysis, C60 is an excellent all-rounder providing excellent results on hard and soft materials.
Explore our range of C60 products and applications below.
3D SIMS image of an InAlGa stack encased in photoresist captured on the J105 SIMS with the C60-40 ion beam. The C60 provides excellent spot size (300 nm), depth resolution (< 5 nm), and consistent sputter rates across many different materials.