Focused Ion Beam


The FIB is a multi-nanofabrication tool system capable of performing sophisticated lithography, nanomachining, in-situ metal or insulator deposition and metrology analysis.

This versatile system is based on the dual ion and electron beams column concept, which allows it to perform ion-based nanofabrication function while imaging using the scanning electron microscope.

The ion beam is derived from a gallium source integrated to an ionisation tungsten tip. This produces very high resolution direct write lithography as an alternative to electron beam lithography.

Zeiss NVision 40 CrossBeam FIB System and FEI Helios NanoLab-600 FIB/SEM Systems

These systems offer the combination of three-dimensional direct ion beam milling and electron beam imaging. The FIB column is integrated to a field emission scanning electron microscope,  giving researchers the unique opportunity to perform direct write, imaging and close examination of their devices simultaneously with nanometre-scale resolution. The FIB systems are versatile tools for nanofabrication and nano-engineering applications in anything from semiconductor to biological materials. They allow fast prototyping of micro-nanodevices and structures before committing to large scale fabrication process. The ion beams have a milling resolution down to around 30 nm and the systems have pattern generators that are capable of large writing fields extending to hundreds of microns. Designed patterns such as in GDS file format can be imported into the system and immediately reproduced. The FIB systems can also be used for optical mask and in-situ device component repair functions. In addition, they have metallic and insulator in-situ electron or ion beam assisted deposition capabilities. These are available from gas injection systems (GIS) providing materials including tungsten, carbon, platinum and silica. They are also equipped with xenon difluoride gas for chemically-assisted etching processes.