The CAMECA IMS 4f ion microprobe is a tool for investigating isotopic composition in the chemical, material, geological and biological sciences. Among the ejected particles are electrically neutral, as well as positively and negatively charged species. By carrying out mass spectrometry on the secondary ions, qualitative and quantitative analysis of all elements is possible by this technique, which is known as secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). During a measurement, the sample is slowly sputtered (eroded) away and that is why SIMS is capable of measuring depth profiles and perform 3-D measurements.
The new VS MR15 Mobile Cart Helium Leak Detector, with DS302 Rotary Vane Pump combines the simplicity of two-button operation with advanced system intelligence to give you easy access to powerful testing capabilities. The state-of-the-art spectrometer and vacuum system provide powerful capability, enabling a broad range of test methods for diverse applications. Robust design innovations allow the VS Series Leak Detectors to conform to the most rigorous industrial standards and to operate dependably in the most challenging environments.
For complete specifications and application - download the Operating Manual PDF below under (AVAILABLE DOWNLOADS). Helium mass spectrometry, or helium leak testing, is a highly precise means of leak detection.
At the heart of helium leak testing is a complex piece of equipment called a helium mass spectrometer. While helium leak detection may appear to be a simple procedure, the process involves a combination of both art and science. While many gases are used in leak detection, helium’s qualities provide for superior testing. Due to these attributes, and its high sensitivity, helium leak testing has gained broad acceptance in a wide range of leak testing applications. The choice between these two modes is based on both the size of the system being tested, as well as, the level of sensitivity required. For this technique, the leak detector is hooked directly to the system under test and the inside of the system is evacuated.


Unlike the spray probe technique, this process is very flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of any virtually any system in which helium can be injected.
In addition to the two primary testing procedures listed above, there are a number of more specialized techniques that can be utilized.
All elements (H to U) can be detected in depth profiling, surface, bulk and microanalysis modes. Charged particles of one polarity ("secondary ions") can then be extracted from the sputtering area with the help of an electrical field between the sample and an extraction lens.
SIMS allows the routine measurement of many trace elements at very low concentration (ppb-range).
The VS Series Leak Detectors combine the simplicity of two-button operation with advanced expert system intelligence. This technology was first developed for the Manhattan Project during World War II to locate extremely small leaks in the gas diffusion process. Quite simply, this machine is used to analyze air samples (which are introduced into the machine via vacuum pumps) and provides a quantitative measurement of the amount of helium present in the sample.
For example, our equipment can detect a leak so small that it would emit just two cubic centimeters of helium (or the amount equal to two sugar cubes) in 320 years.
The user must ensure the equipment is functioning properly and the process is highly dependant upon the user’s experience. Once an acceptable vacuum is achieved, helium is sprayed discreetly on the outside of the system, with particular attention being paid to any suspect locations. These accelerated secondary ions constitute a secondary ion beam which is then led into a mass spectrometer.
And since ions of different mass are measured separately, SIMS is ideally suited for the study of isotopic compositions of small samples. In practice, a "leak," is identified by a rise in the level of helium being analyzed by the machine. While very few applications require this level of precision, this example serves to highlight the accuracy possible with this process.


Consider this analogy: while anyone with enough money can buy an airplane, learning how to fly one takes a lot of practice.
Any leaks in the system, including defective welds (caused by cracks, pin holes, incomplete welds, porosity, etc.), flawed or missing gaskets, leaks due to loose clamps, or any other defect will allow helium to pass and be readily detected by the machine. This technique does require that the system being tested is relatively leak tight prior to testing, as an ample vacuum is required for testing. The sniffer probe technique is not as sensitive as the spray probe process, however, due to the amount of helium present in the air (approximately 5 ppm). There, the secondary ions are sorted by mass (and energy) and finally counted in an ion detector (which can be an electron multiplier, a Faraday cup or a channel plate).
Any leaks will result in an increased level of helium nearest the source and be readily detected. The count rates of different secondary ion species give information about the composition of the sample in the sputtered area. The gross test should eliminate any major leaks, permitting the use of increased sensitivity. Leak sources can then be pinpointed, providing the opportunity for immediate repair and retest.
Nevertheless, this process is vastly superior to other traditional leak testing methods, such as: bubble testing, acoustic emission, liquid penetrant or vacuum box testing. Since the size of the sputtered area depends only on the primary ion beam diameter, which typically is in the order of micro-meter, a SIMS analysis has a relatively high lateral resolution.



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