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Advances in source technology for focused ion beam instruments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 April 2014

Noel S. Smith
Oregon Physics LLC,
John A. Notte
Ion Microscopy Innovation Center at Carl Zeiss Microscopy, LLC;
Adam V. Steele
zeroK Nanotech Corporation;
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Owing to the development of new ion source technology, users of focused ion beams (FIBs) have access to superior performance when compared with the industry standard Ga+ liquid metal ion source. FIBs equipped with an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) ion source are better able to carry out large volume milling applications by providing up to 2 µA of Xe+ ions focused into a sub-5 µm spot. However, ICP FIBs are presently limited to 25 nm imaging resolution at 1 pA.The gas field ionization source (GFIS) relies upon an ion source that is the size of a single atom and correspondingly gains high brightness through its very small source size. The high brightness allows the GFIS to produce a very small focused probe size (<0.35 nm for helium), but with comparatively small beam currents (less than 2 pA). The Cs+ low temperature ion source, still being developed, has a projected sub-nm focal spot size at 1 pA, a maximum current of several nanoamps, and has the potential to offer integrated secondary ion mass spectrometry capabilities.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2014 

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