Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications


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This is due to the fact that the number of variable parameters for such complex processes involving e. As SEM imaging only delivers 2D information, AFM or cross-sectioning techniques are typically involved in order to retrieve the required 3D information. A standard nanomanipulator, available for both systems, can be upgraded with a surface-sensitive sensor yielding height resolutions in the order of 5nm. Back to Overview. To transform the system into an additive method, a GIS which locally delivers an organometallic gas is an efficient method to deposit material on the surface.

In addition using a suitable reactive gas, it is possible to enhance the etching rate or do in site-specific CVD Chemical Vapor Deposition. In term of deposition process, secondary electrons generated by the primary ion beam or, alternatively, the incident electron beam in dual-beam FIB-SEM systems can crack hydrocarbon precursor gases, leading to local deposition of a conducting W, Pt, C… or insulating material SiO x see below fig. Figure 6. Introducing a micromanipulator in the chamber with the local deposition of material also enables sophisticated operations within the FIB system, which transform the FIB instrument in a nanofabrication unit see fig.

The ultimate system is obtained by gathering a FIB column, a GIS to add and remove material, a micromanipulator to move in-situ the created objects and a SEM to observe the operations at high resolution and in real time without any material removal. Ion-solid interactions play an important role in a wide range of different endeavors, ranging for example from fabrication of microelectronic devices to understanding the distributions of cosmic gases.

An ion impinging a solid loses its kinetic energy through binary collisions with the atoms of the sample. This transfer of energy from the ion to the solid results in a number of different processes:. Traditional detectors developed for SEM applications can be used to detect the secondary electrons or x-rays created by the interaction of the ion beam with the sample. The ions sputtered from the sample can also be detected using a variety of detectors such as charge electron multipliers. The electron yield depends also strongly on surface oxidation and contamination and thus will change as the surface is sputtered and cleaned with the incorporation of gallium.

Up to now, focused Ion Beams spot deliver images with lower resolution than scanning electron microscopes. The contrast due to crystal orientation is easily detected from material contrast, as crystal contrast changes with the incidence angle of the ion beam and material contrast does not.

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Finally FIB is a powerful tool for nanomachining of 3D patterns either by removing or adding material on surfaces. Associated with advanced ion detectors and filters it provides elemental analysis at very small scales. Adding also a micromanipulator it becomes a nanofabrication factory.


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New ion source concepts such as ultra-cold atoms or plasma sources should go further in term of ultimate resolution and sputtering yield in the near future. Volkert and A. Figure 4. Materials Engineering. Focused Ion Beams.

Focused Ion Beam Tutorial

FIB systems use a beam of ions to mill, deposit and image micro- and nano-scale samples. The beam is formed in a high-vacuum environment where selective electric potentials are used to ionize and extract gallium from a liquid metal ion source LMIS. This beam can be directed and focused with electromagnetic lenses similar to light in a traditional, optical microscope. The beam then rasters to cover an area on the sample. With a different kind of source, an electron beam can be used for nondestructive imaging and characterization without sputtering the sample surface, much like scanning electron microscopy SEM.

Additionally, three-dimensional information can be obtained by combining the electron and ion beam operations to perform a tomography i. Generally, conductive samples are ideal for FIB and SEM because they do not collect charge and thereby affect the pathway to imaging, milling, and deposition. However, non-conductive samples like most polymers and biological samples can be probed with the use of charge correction, conductive coating, variable pressure settings, and low energy beam settings. Having an understanding of the basics of ion beam-solid interactions may improve the ability to achieve optimal results using an FIB system.

The mechanics of ion beam-solid interactions consists in the following events: primary ions of the focused beam bombard the surface, sputter material, eject secondary electrons and implant themselves. Milling occurs due to the physical sputtering of the target.

Nanofabrication using focused ion and electron beams. Principles and applications

In order to understand the sputtering process, the interactions between the ion beam and the target must be explored. Sputtering takes place as a consequence of a series of elastic collisions in which momentum is transferred from the incident ions to the target atoms within a region that is called cascade region.

This process is similar to what happens when a cue ball hits the object balls when the break shot is taken. An atom on the surface of the target may be sputtered if it receives a kinetic energy that exceeds its surface binding energy SBE. The surface binding energy is the energy required to remove a surface atom from its bulk lattice. A portion of these ejected atoms might be ionized.

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Because of ion bombardment, inelastic interactions can also happen. These interactions produce phonons, plasmons in metals, and secondary electrons SE. A standard FIB employs secondary electrons in order to produce an image. Deposition can also be accomplished by deploying small amounts of precursor gas molecules to the surface of the material and using the impinging ions to facilitate a chemical reaction where the material is deposited onto the surface.

Though, for this study, milling and imaging are the only mechanisms covered. Fabrication of a perforated filter from a nm thick silicon oxide membrane comparable in scale to the kidneys' endothelial cytoplasm. Figure 1 : FIB milled holes in silicon oxide membrane creating particle filter. The Focused Ion Beam is an instrument that can be used to fabricate, trim, analyze, and characterize materials on micro and nano scales.

Focused Ion Beams are used in a wide variety of fields, ranging from electronics to medicine. Focused Ion Beam Systems accelerate Liquid metal ions in a vacuum to form a beam. Using a series of Electromagnetic lenses, the beam can be focused onto an area of about 10 nanometers in diameter. When the ions from the Focused Ion Beams strike the target, some of the target material is sputtered. At Low primary beam currents, very little sputtering occurs and the beam can be used for imaging.

At higher currents, Surface atoms are ejected. This allows for Site-Specific sputtering or larger scale milling of samples. Focused Ion Beam Systems create a beam of Liquid metal ions under vacuum in order to mill material from a sample or take an image of it. The ions are accelerated through application of voltage, and then a series of Electromagnetic lenses focuses the beam on the target.


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  8. The metal ions collide with the material in the sample much like a cue ball does when striking billiard balls. At low energies, a metal ion knocks away secondary electrons, which can be collected to form an image of the target surface. At higher energies, the ions may transfer enough kinetic energy to atoms in the material to overcome their surface-binding energies and scatter into the vacuum.

    This is known as Sputtering. Focused Ion Beams can use sputtering to bore holes at specific sites, mill patterns onto a target, or even remove the surface layer from a sample. By repeatedly and uniformly removing a layer and the imaging the region, three-dimensional images of a sample can be constructed. A percentage of the metal ions used by the beam are implanted in the sample. After the initial impact, an ion continues to lose energy through a series of collisions until it stops inside the sample.

    Chemical Vapor Deposition can also be accomplished by deploying small amounts of Precursor gas molecules to the surface of the material and using the impinging ions to facilitate a chemical reaction, wherein the Precursor gas breaks down and a portion of it is deposited onto the surface along with some of the impinging ions. Due to the accumulation of metal ions on or within the material, and scattering of secondary electrons from the surface, it is possible that charge can build up on a non-conducting target.

    This accumulation of charge can create additional electrostatic fields that alter the beam path. One way to prevent this is by coating non-conducting samples in a conducting material such as Gold, Gold-palladium, or Carbon, before using the Focused Ion Beam System. A standard Focused Ion Beam takes an image of the sample by collecting the scattered secondary electrons from the ion interactions.


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    For these combined systems, once the Focused Ion Beam has finished, the Scanning Electron Microscope is used to take an image of the sample. The two beams are arranged at a 54 degree angle relative to one another.

    Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications
    Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications
    Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications
    Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications
    Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications Nanofabrication Using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications

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