Analyse v2.0.2.15 Release

We are happy to announce the release of Analyse v2.0.2.15 for all J105 SIMS customers. This long awaited release brings with it a host of new features as well as several bug fixes. Chief among the new features is a new imzML file converter. To download the new release, simply go to our downloads page and click on the link.

Employee Spotlight: Gavyn Trowbridge

Ionoptika is very proud of its skilled and dedicated staff, who together with our loyal users make up our global community. In our ongoing series, we shine the spotlight on one of our talented colleagues each month to introduce you to some of the people behind Ionoptika.

This month we move away from new hires to what will be a very familiar face to many of our customers around the world, Senior Test & Service Engineer, Gavyn Trowbridge. Gavyn is one of Ionoptika’s longest serving employees, joining the company in 2004, and today he manages our customer installations and service work around the world. We asked Gavyn for an insight into his time at Ionoptika.

"...knowing that the whole team has had a part to play in the completion of the project, and knowing I am inserting the final piece of the puzzle, whilst installing it, brings a certain joy that can't be explained" - Gavyn Trowbridge, Senior Test & Service Engineer

How long have you worked at Ionoptika and what career path brought you to us?

I joined Ionoptika in Feb 2004, having previously worked in various roles in the manufacturing sector including a PCB factory, high power micro generators, up to 100kW of power from gas turbines. I self-educated through night school and day release. The role at Ionoptika suited me because I have always been interested in taking things apart, seeing how they work, and putting them back together.

What do you enjoy most about working at Ionoptika?

I appreciate the diverse range of skills and experience we have in the factory team, and the toys are pretty cool too. We get paid to play with toys!!

But the prospect that we may be creating something that could change the world for the better is a real buzz; a pharmaceutical breakthrough? A medical research breakthrough? New things never seen before in the field?

You never know what research, or researchers you may meet in the field on a customer site. The projects that our customers work on are each fascinating in their own way!

My favourite part of the role is the final installation of the instruments: knowing that the whole team has had a part to play in the completion of the project, and knowing I am inserting the final piece of the puzzle, whilst installing it, brings a certain joy that can’t be explained.

Can you describe a typical day working at Ionoptika (normally, not in the lockdown!)

There’s never a dull moment in my day and no such thing as a typical day. One day I may be building a prototype, another fixing something, and another testing a customer system. Or just general helping of others with my long-term experience?  I also usually spend quite a lot of time on customer sites around the world.

What has been your best memory or achievement during your time at Ionoptika?

The installation of the J105 instruments is quite exciting. You never know where one might be going and it’s a real buzz to travel to global customer sites to install these systems.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Gaming, music, walking, meditation, the great outdoors. Often meditating in places of beauty.

Have you been doing anything interesting/different/new to cope with the lockdown?

Trying to stay sane!!! Making the most of not being away and making home improvements.

What are you looking forward to most once the lockdown is over?

Enjoying the great outdoors more, exploring new places. This year’s holiday was going to be an eastern European adventure, taking in 4 countries, but this is now postponed until next year!

Interested in becoming part of our team? Visit our Careers page.

GCIB 10S Webinar in association with UCVAC

On Thursday, in collaboration with UCVAC, we held a webinar on the GCIB 10S Gas Cluster Ion Beam for potential customers in China. The webinar was a great success, and we will certainly look to use this format again to connect with potential customers around the world, particularly while travel restrictions remain in place.

IONOPTIKA recently authorized UCVAC as its sole agent in mainland China and Hong Kong. With extensive experience in the surface science markets, UCVAC are well placed to assist business development and provide technical support in the region. We look forward to working together, and this webinar was a fantastic way to kick things off.

The GCIB 10S is a high-performance gas cluster ion beam that delivers rapid, low-damage sputtering for superior quality surface analysis. An ideal upgrade for a variety of instruments, such as XPS, SEM, SPM, and SIMS, the GCIB 10S brings many powerful advantages in an economical, low-maintenance package.

Ultra-low-energy sputtering by argon cluster ions helps to efficiently remove material while producing very low damage and minimal loss of chemical information, leaving a pristine surface for analysis. Removing just a few nanometres per cycle, the GCIB 10S is the ideal tool for achieving ultra-high-resolution depth profile analysis.

If you missed it live, you can watch the full webinar below.

Employee Spotlight: Dr Naoko Sano

As a small company, Ionoptika is very proud of its skilled and dedicated staff, who together with our loyal users make up our global community. So each month we will be putting the spotlight on one of our talented colleagues to introduce you to some of the people behind Ionoptika.

The first to be in the spotlight is one of most recent hires, Dr Naoko Sano, our new Applications Scientist. We asked Naoko about her career and what she enjoys about working at Ionoptika.

Employee spotlight - quote

Where were you before you started at Ionoptika?

I joined Ionoptika from Nara Women’s University in Japan where I was Associate Professor in textile science.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Most days I spend my time working on new applications and processing SIMS data. At lunch time I sometimes like to go for a walk with friends from the office, which really helps me refresh. The rest of the time I can be found running samples on the J105 ToF SIMS instrument for existing and potential customers. I’m also involved in testing new software and providing feedback back to the software team.

What do you love most about your job?

One of the most exciting parts of my job is the great variety of applications that I’m involved in, from investigating neurotransmitters in brain tissue, to analysing the frictional properties of lubricants. This makes the job of Application Scientist immensely challenging but hugely rewarding!

Why did you decide to study science when you were at school or university?

A working experience with the Surface Analysis group at NPL in 2006-7 gave a great impact to me in a good way and I really enjoyed UK/London life whilst I was there. Fortunately, around the end of the working experience, Prof. John F. Watts offered a PhD studentship, so I decided to study surface science in University of Surrey, which was my big turning point in my life.

What’s it like working at Ionoptika?

All colleagues here in Ionoptika are friendly, so I enjoy chatting with them at the office. So I miss it very much because of the current WFH situation…

What has been your best memory or achievement in your career?

It would be my first poster award in SIMS-XVII. On the day for the award ceremony, I was late to get to the venue, because I didn’t care for the ceremony at all (a naughty student!). When I got into the venue and tried to find a space to sit, the chairman (coincidentally it was John, my supervisor) on the stage, said ‘Naoko, you are there!’. Everybody turned back and looked at me. I was so proud of my work on the stage, but I felt so embarrassed as well…

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Aromatherapy and reading books.

Have you been doing anything interesting/different/new to cope with the lockdown?

I’ve started online yoga lessons. I still prefer to do it in an actual studio with people, but online yoga class works at least. 

What are you looking forward to most once the lockdown is over?

Travel to see my family and friends all over the world. Miss you all very much!

You can catch up with Naoko and the rest of the Ionoptika team at various conferences throughout the year. Interested in becoming part of our team? Visit our Careers page.

RADIATE: Research And Development with Ion Beams – Advancing Technology in Europe


Ionoptika has joined forces with 14 partners from public research and 3 other SMEs for the RADIATE project, exchanging experience and best practice examples in order to structure the European Research Area of ion technology application.

Besides further developing ion beam technology and strengthening the cooperation between European ion beam infrastructures, RADIATE is committed to providing easy, flexible and efficient access for researchers from academia and industry to the participating ion beam facilities. About 15,800 hours of transnational access in total is going to be offered free of charge to users who successfully underwent the RADIATE proposal procedure.

Joint research activities and workshops aim to strengthen Europe’s leading role in ion beam science and technology. The collaboration with industrial partners will tackle specific challenges for major advances across multiple subfields of ion beam science and technology.

RADIATE aims to attract new users from a variety of research fields, who are not yet acquainted with ion beam techniques in their research, and introduce them to ion beam technology and its applicability to their field of research. New users will be given extensive support and training.

The project is monitored by an External Advisory Board for quality assurance and guidance. Users with accepted proposals for RADIATE’s transnational access program are selected by an external user selection panel to ensure an unbiased and fair selection process.

RADIATE is building on the achievements of SPIRIT (Support of Public and Industrial Research using Ion Beam Technology), a previous EU funded project coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). SPIRIT ran from 2009 to 2013 and united 7 European ion beam centers and 4 research providers.

To learn more about RADIATE or to get involved, please visit the website.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824096

A New Single Ion Implantation Tool

A New Tool for Quantum Device Fabrication

July 10th 2018 — A new single ion implantation tool is launched at the UK National Ion Beam Centre. Part of a 3 year project between Ionoptika and the University of Surrey and funded by the EPSRC, the new instrument will enable researchers to create new quantum devices faster than ever before.

The instrument, named SIMPLE (Single Ion Multi-species Positioning at Low Energy), was launched during the 16th International Conference on Nuclear Microprobe Technology and Applications (ICNMTA2018) held at the University of Surrey (click here to read the press release).

SIMPLE Instrument

SIMPLE instrument installed at Surrey Ion Beam Centre | Photo courtesy Nathan Cassidy.

Quantum Technology

Quantum mechanics – that fascinating and sometimes bizarre theory governing the world of the very small – has enormous potential to revolutionize many aspects of modern technology. More secure digital communication, “quantum safe” cryptography methods, more accurate time measurements, and faster, more powerful computers are all thought possible.

Quantum computers in particular are an exciting prospect — it’s expected that they will be capable of solving problems not currently feasible even by our most powerful super computers. Actually building a quantum computer, however, remains an hugely ambitious challenge.

One design for a quantum bit, or qubit – the basic building block of a quantum computer – was put forward by Bruce Kane in 1998. It involves embedding pairs of donor atoms, such as phosphorous, very close to one another (~ 20 nm) within a silicon lattice. Known as electron-mediated nuclear spin coupling, the idea has been successfully utilized by researchers to fabricate individual qubits.

Qubit device schematic

Schematic of Kane’s proposed electron-mediated nuclear spin coupling qubit device.

Using a scanning tunneling microscope, researchers carefully placed individual P atoms using an atomically sharp tip and by stimulating chemical reactions on an atom-by-atom basis. An incredibly intricate technique, it can take several days of meticulous preparation to create just a single qubit. A remarkable feat, however a faster, more scalable method is clearly required.

Single Ion Implantation

The SIMPLE project was established with this objective – to develop an instrument platform for the reliable fabrication of arrays of qubits, with high speed and high precision, using single-ion implantation.

A well established technique in the semiconductor industry, the principles of large-scale ion implantation can be applied to implant individual ions when the parameters are very carefully controlled. Leveraging Ionoptika’s expertise in ion beam design and detection, an instrument platform was designed that is capable of producing an array of millions of implanted ions in just a fraction of a second.

The need for new quantum fabrication technologies

The need for new quantum fabrication technologies


The instrument comprises a highly focused, sub-20 nm mass-filtered ion column, a nano-precision stage, and high-sensitivity single ion implantation detection system. While detecting single ion events with high enough consistency for wide scale production remains a challenge, progress in this area has been encouraging, and confidence is high that this goal will be met. And when it is, it will mark a world first, and will usher in a new era of quantum computing.


PacSurf 2018

PacSurf 2018

The AVS Pacific Rim Symposium on Surfaces, Coatings and Interfaces (PacSurf 2018) will be held on the Big Island of Hawaii from December 2 – 6, 2018. This conference is being organized by AVS (United States) with a Steering Committee composed of representatives from Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. Symposium attendees will interact during morning and evening sessions that will include plenary, invited, and contributed presentations.The main topics for PacSurf 2018 will be focused on the latest advances in Biomaterial Surfaces & Interfaces, Energy Harvesting & Storage,  Nanomaterials, Plasma Processing, and Thin Films. We will have morning and evening technical sessions with the afternoons free for other activities and discussions.


The conference will be held in the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We are confident you will benefit by attending PacSurf 2018 and networking with the other attendees.


Abstract submission deadline is August 3rd 2018!


Ionoptika will be sponsoring the event, and are delighted to once again provide our support to the AVS Community.


For more details visit the event website.

SIMS-China 2018

The 7th Chinese National Conference on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS-China VII)

Ionoptika are delighted to announce we are sponsoring the 7th Chinese National Conference on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS-China VII), which will be held from 9-12th October, 2018, at the Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics (SINANO), Chinese Academy of Sciences in Suzhou, China. The conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry to focus on recent advances in SIMS. We look forward to seeing you there!

Conference website 

Ionoptika’s New Website!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new website! The new site brings a fresh new look, a more intuitive layout, and a lot more content. We’re very pleased with it, and we hope you like it too!

Why not tell us what you think in the comments section below, or like and share this post!

ASMS Annual Conference 2018

ASMS San Diego 2018

Ionoptika will be attending the 66th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, held in San Diego, June 3-7 2018. If you’re attending, please drop by our stand in the exhibition hall and say hello! Looking forward to a productive and informative week.

5th Mass Spectrometry Imaging Symposium – Sheffield Hallam University

Ionoptika will be attending the 5th Mass Spectrometry Imaging Symposium at Sheffield Hallam University, in association with the BMSS SIG on Wednesday, 18th April 2018. See below for details on the event.

Event Link