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Focused ion Beam Lithography (FIB)

Patterning with a focused ion beam (FIB) is an extremely versatile nanofabrication process that can be used to create microscale and nanoscale designs on the surface of practically any solid sample material.

Based on the type of ion-sample interaction utilized, FIB-based manufacturing can be both subtractive and additive, even in the same processing step. Indeed, the capability of easily creating three-dimensional patterns and shaping objects by milling and deposition is probably the most recognized feature of ion beam lithography and micromachining. However, there exist several other techniques, such as ion implantation- and ion damage-based patterning and surface functionalization types of processes that have emerged as valuable additions to the nanofabrication toolkit and that are less widely known.

Ion beam lithography offers higher resolution patterning than UV, X-ray, or electron beam lithography because these heavier particles have more momentum. This gives the ion beam a smaller wavelength than even an e-beam and therefore almost no diffraction. The momentum also reduces scattering in the target and in any residual gas. There is also a reduced potential radiation effect to sensitive underlying structures compared to x-ray and e-beam lithography.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Zeiss Int. (Raith GmbH lithography module)
Model: Zeiss 1560XB Cross Beam

  • Acceleration: Electron Beam 0.1-30kV
    Ion-Beam 3kV-30kV
  • Probe Current: Electron Beam 4pA-20nA (6 apertures +fine adjustment)
    Ion Beam 1pA-50nA (15 apertures)
  • High stability Schottky field emission gun
  • Large specimen chamber: 520mm inner diameter and 300mm height.
  • 6-axes motorized stage (x-y-z-z’.-Rotation-Tilt)
  • FIB and SEM columns are mounted at 54 degrees to each other.
  • GIS installed on a single port
  • 3 Micromanipulators installed on a single port
  • Extra ports available for extra options
  • Integrated 8” airlock system with control unit vacuum
  • Raith Elphy Quantum pattern generator for controlling both ions/electrons
  • Gas injection system options:
    The system contains a multiple injector needle system for 5 different gases. The gas reservoirs are easily interchangeable and the injector is mounted in a XYZ micro stage with 25mmx25mmx25mm motorised movement with 1um accuracy.
    • Insulator deposition: Gas chemistry (TEOS) solution for in-situ deposition of insulator material
    • Platinum deposition: Gas chemistry solution for Ion or Electron beam deposition of Platinum-containing material.
    • Insulator enhanced etching: Gas chemistry solution (XeF2) for enhanced etching of insulator materials. It is used to selectively remove insulating materials while inhibiting the removal of conducting materials.
    • Selective carbon mill: Gas chemistry solution for enhanced etching of polymer-based materials such as resist, polycarbonate or diamonds.
    • Carbon deposition: Gas chemistry solution for Ion or Electron beam deposition of Carbon-containing material.


Associated Groups/Units