In the focused ion beam system (FIB), a highly focused ion beam is aimed at a target area on the sample. As the beam scans the surface of the sample, a highly magnified image is created, allowing the system operator to clearly view the samples microscopic features. The FIB offers the ability to perform nanopatterning and micromachining respectively, and by instructing the machine to add or remove pertinent features, operator can design and prototype a new micro or nanostructure, modify integrated circuits (IC) and cross section specific features to allow failure analysis even in the 3rd dimension (TEM sample preparation).
In a maskless process the FIB allows the fabrication of ultrafine structures by direct deposition of metal (tungsten, gold, iron) or insulator schemes (SiO2) with a minimum feature size down to 25 nm and a nesting tolerance of 10 nm.
Composite materials can be selectively etched in reactive gas atmospheres achieving aspect ratios up to 30 with a minimum feature size below 30 nm.
The ion beam itself could be used to perform spatially confined Ga-doping.