Customer service

We run NanoSIMS measurements for internal and external scientific users based on our Terms of Use which can be found at. This includes an advisory service for the planning of experiments, discussion of possible sample preparation techniques and help by an operator during the final measurement at our instrument. Members of the nanoSOIL team will help with data interpretation and further quantitative analysis by offering an introduction to possible data analysis software, if necessary.
A charge of 800 EUR (exclusive of VAT) per day will be charged from every user. This charge includes all project specific consumables (sputtered optics, used electron multipliers, used primary ion sources etc.). The operator and scientist's time spent for assisting the users during a measurement session will not be charged. The NanoSIMS measurement time and expertise we offer often forms the basis of scientific collaboration according to our utilization and publication agreement (further details in our Terms of Use at). This procedure assures the existence of the nanoSOIL laboratory.  
No refund can be given if the NanoSIMS measurement can not be performed due to sample preparation problems, if the result does not meet the scientific expectations of the users, or due to other problems encountered during measurement.

  • Every potential customer is advised to contact the nanoSOIL team before starting experiments by NanoSIMS, to discuss the feasibility of the method. In order to test the feasibility of the technique a preliminary test run at the NanoSIMS can be offered. Costs for preliminary test runs have to be paid by the user.
  • Every customer has to submit the NanoSIMS application form (nanosoil_application.pdf) to the nanoSOIL team.

Please keep in mind that research topics of the nanoSOIL facility mainly focus on soil system studies and experiments.

Sample Requirements for Analyses with the Cameca NanoSIMS 50L

Please contact the nanoSOIL team at the TUM, Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde in Freising directly to discuss sample requirements.
As part of the nanoSOIL team, Carmen Hoeschen will assist you with questions concerning the physical background, the measurement procedure and operational demands of the NanoSIMS technique. Steffen Schweizer will assist you with questions concerning the planning of experiments and by discussing possible sample preparation techniques.

The following is a brief outline of sample requirements to determine if your samples may be suitable. These requirements will be checked in the measurement application form!

  • The sample has to be stable under vacuum of up to 10-11 mbar!
  • The surface of the sample has to be polished! If the analyses of single particles on sample holders (e.g. Al, Ti or Si substrate) or on filters is planned, it has to be ensured that the particles are tightly attached to the sample holder / substrate surface and the topography of the grains is below 10 ?m!
  • The maximum thickness of the samples to fit in the sample holders is 5 mm.
  • The surface has to be perpendicular to the cylindrical sample holders (Photo 1)! Current NanoSIMS sample holders are able to hold circular shaped mounts 10 mm, 12 mm, and one-inch in diameter. Geology holders (Photo 3) can each hold 1 one-inch round, 2 x 10 mm stubs, and 2 x 12 mm stubs. Biology holders can hold up to 8 x 10 mm stubs. Additionally, we are able to mount filter samples with a diameter of 5 mm (24 samples per sample holder).
  • In order to analyse meaningful spots on the samples, an accurate documentation from light microscopy to SEM or TEM or comparable techniques is mandatory! Possible ways to transform coordinates between SEM/TEM and NanoSIMS and ways to relocate regions of interest have to be discussed with the nanoSOIL team before any microscopic analyses!
  • The analysis time will be more efficient, when replicates and/or additional samples are mounted on the same sample holder!
  • If the samples are not electrically conductive, a coating layer with a conductive material is needed. This can be applied also at the nanoSOIL laboratory.