coal, time-of-flight, secondary ion mass spectrometry, TOF-SIMS


Coal remains a primary fuel for power generation. Herein we present time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectra (ToF-SIMS data) taken with a Ga primary ion beam from ca. 30 coal specimens. These commercially different coal specimens were obtained from coal mining companies and/or power plants. They represent all major coal types used in power generation (bituminous coals, subbituminous coals, and lignites), and include low-rank materials (lignites and subbituminouscoals), which are represented as a minor portion of the data. Often, inorganic ions (Na, Al, Si,and K) are pronounced in the spectra, overshadowing peaks from organic moieties. This reflectsthe high sensitivity of SIMS under our analysis conditions for these inorganic species. These results, including a previous, published chemometrics analysis of this data (L. Pei, G. Jiang, B. J. Tyler, L. L. Baxter, and M. R. Linford, Energy & Fuels 2008, 22, 1059), suggest that ToF-SIMS can be a useful method for coal analysis.

Original Publication Citation

Pei, L., Jiang, G., Baxter, L. L., & Linford, M. R. (2010). Analysis of coal by static time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). Surface Science Spectra, 17(1): 1-67

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Vacuum Society




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Chemical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor