Glow discharge mass spectrometry (GDMS) is widely used for trace element analysis of bulk solid samples. The geometry of the GD source limits the minimum size of the sample, which for the instrument used in this work (ThermoElementGD) is 20 mm in diameter. From time to time, there is the need to analyse smaller samples with this technique, and we present here a methodology to analyse samples of 9-20 mm diameter through the use of thin masks. Thin masks have been previously used mostly as secondary cathode for the analysis of non-conducting materials, with hole size smaller than the area of the glow discharge. The use of masks in this work includes the following customization:The choice of highly-pure Si as mask material, to decrease the chance of interferences with the Si samples.The use of a hole in the mask of the same size as the discharge area. This implies that the mask material is not sputtered, thus decreasing chances for contamination from the mask itself.
- Method name Methodology to analyse small silicon samples by glow discharge mass spectrometry using a thin wafer mask