Accurate secondary ion mass spectroscopy measurement of nitrogen in niobium relies on the use of closely equivalent standards, made by ion implantation, to convert nitrogen signal intensity to nitrogen content by determination of relative sensitivity factors (RSFs). Accurate RSF values for ppm-range nitrogen contents are increasingly critical, as more precision is sought in processes for next-generation superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) accelerator cavities. Factors influencing RSF value measurements were investigated with the aim of reliably attaining better than 10% accuracy in nitrogen concentrations at various depths into the bulk. This has been accomplished for materials typical of SRF cavities at the cost of increased attention to all aspects.

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