Focused ion beam (FIB) systems, and particularly, combined focused ion beam and scanning electron microscopes (FIB-SEM) are broadly used for a variety of analytical tasks as well as sample preparation. These are dual beam systems that combine a SEM and FIB column, where SEM is the priority technique used for high-resolution imaging and can be complemented with several detectors such as: energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), backscatter electron (BSE), or secondary electron (SE).
Hall Bar structure on 3D Dirac semimetal Cd3As2; Enze Zhang, Fudan University, China
These applications are supported by FIB in terms of sample preparation or cross-sectioning so as to extend into third dimension or to ultra-thin parts of the sample. The third dimension enables higher resolution, as well as use in other microscopes like atom probe tomography (APT) or transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Preparation of APT tips or TEM lamella has become one of the major applications for FIB-SEM. In addition, simultaneous SEM imaging and FIB cutting enable 3D tomography with nanometer resolution and reconstruction of complex structures.
Finally, with additional capabilities like in-situ electrical probing or gas injection, a FIB-SEM microscope is a truly multifaceted instrument for microscopy and analysis in life sciences, nanoelectronics, material sciences and more.
FIB microscopy is widely used by an increasing number of applications for quick prototyping. Being a suitable partner for other lithography methods, FIB nanofabrication offers vital strengths such as 3D, direct and resistless patterning. Despite FIB milling being slower than a resist-accelerated process in many cases, the relative simplification of the overall nanofabrication approach helps obtain scientific results more quickly. Techniques like deposition, gas-assisted etching and milling are especially efficient and versatile approaches for direct processing of novel materials.
To extend the onboard capabilities of FIB-SEM microscopes towards automated nanofabrication of more complex devices and shapes, a nanolithography upgrade kit can be used. The ELPHY Multi Beam provides a state-of-the-art package of software platform and pattern generator for additional capabilities without reducing the microscope’s original imaging and analytical functionality. Therefore, by attaching an ELPHY MultiBeam, any FIB-SEM can be extended toward a nanofabrication system.
Turn your FIB-SEM into a nanofabrication tool by attaching an ELPHY MultiBeam to it.
Focused Ion Beam Nanofabrication
ionLINE Plus is the ultimate FIB nanofabrication tool as it offers unparalleled stability, versatility and high resolution, by integrating various FIB processing techniques with all the advantages of a lithography system. The ionLINE Plus FIB system uses FIB as the main technique and is based on a mature lithography platform, especially the laser interferometer stage.
The ionLINE Plus offers unparalleled stability and accuracy for truly continuous writing, field stitching and large-area sample navigation, in addition to its benefits in FIB. This unique functionality can be applied to sophisticated nanofabrication of:
- Small batches for membrane or NEMS devices such as nanopores
- X-ray zone plates, or any complex pattern on challenging materials
- Extended 3D structures such as microfluidic mixers
- Large-area gratings with best placement accuracy
- Arrays with large numbers of finest features such as plasmonic nanoantennas
In addition, FIB technology has been extended beyond gallium to take in delivery of multiple selectable ion species into a nanometer-scale focused ion beam. These ions include silicon or gold with the potential of innovative ion implantation, functionalization, and lower contamination processes, paving the way for many nanofabrication methods that are yet to be explored.
Application Examples FIB-SEM
Hall bar and FIB devices based on a Cd3as2 nanobelt sample (Enze Zhang, Fudan University, China)
Ring of plasmonics (Thomas Loeber, TU Kaiserslautern, Germany)
Cd3As2 nano-cross (Weiyi Wang, Fudan University, China)
FIB Nanofabrication at its Excellence
Customers can select the ionLINE Plus to address their nanofabrication difficulties and ultimately benefit from the synergy of a mature lithography architecture and focused ion beam. Using all versatile FIB techniques, ionLINE Plus supports 3D and direct patterning with highest resolution.
Unlock the full nanopatterning potential of your SEM, FIB-SEM, or HIM
ELPHY MultiBeam is the ideal solution as it supports existing HIM, FIB-SEM, or SEM for sophisticated nanolithography. It includes all comprehensive versatile nano patterning functionalities and provides the highest placement resolution and accuracy.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Raith.
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