WiscSIMS User Checklist

>4 months before your date of analysis

1. Discuss project goals and samples with a member of the WiscSIMS Advisory Committee to obtain a letter of commitment that can be included in your NSF proposal.

2. Prepare samples. Verify sample preparation procedures on WiscSIMS web site.

3. Send samples to WiscSIMS for inspection by profilometer:

*****Beamtime cannot be scheduled until samples and imaging pass inspection *****

Please ship to:

Mike Spicuzza, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geoscience, Weeks Hall, 1215 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53706 (spicuzza@geology.wisc.edu)

4. If you need further assistance with sample preparation, contact the Advisory Committee.

5. Image/characterize samples at scales appropriate for your project.

For many projects imaging with field of veiw = ~500µm is appropriate. If you wish to use the UW SEM or EPMA contact:

6. Discuss imaging and mineral compositions with Advisory Committee and the Assisting Scientist assigned to your project.

Detailed information of samples to be analyzed are critical in designing analytical conditions (beam size, detectors. …) and number of calibration standards that need to be analyzed for proper matrix correction. If a student or post-doc will visit WiscSIMS, then they and the PI should both be involved in discussions.

7. Request SIMS beamtime

Normally, a session is one to four 12-hr days after tuning on Monday. Sometimes, automatic overnight operation is possible. The instrument is typically booked 1-3 months in advance.

8. Complete the online forms on project (billing) information and user information

We will verify qualification for subsidized rates. We need to know who will be present in the SIMS lab and their contact information. Instrument time will be finalized after receiving this information.

1-2 months before scheduled analysis date

Book lodging (UW Union Hotels, other hotels near the department)

>*****When possible, travel plans should be flexible in case of delays (1-2 days)*****

2 weeks before analysis

  1. Send a Final check list to your designated Assisting.
  2. Upload final images to online drives

The WiscSIMS scientist will perform a final check prior to your arrival. SEM-BSE images with field-of-view= 500 microns are usually best. An undistorted image of the full mount speeds analysis.

The week of analysis (typically)


  • Attend WiscSIMS Lab meeting, Monday at 9 AM, Weeks Hall 134.
  • Clean, coat samples and put into SIMS vacuum chamber.
  • Verify imaging. Additional optical reflected light images can be made Monday.
  • Tuning and standardization by WiscSIMS Scientist


  • Begin sample analysis Tuesday.