Application of a focused ion beam system to micro and nanoengineering

R. M. Langford*, A. K. Petford-Long, M. Rommeswinkle, S. Egelkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Focused ion beam systems are similar to scanning electron microscopes except that a beam of focused ions rather than electrons is rastered over the sample. Images are formed by either the secondary ions or electrons that are emitted as the ion beam interacts with the sample and the typical image resolution using the electrons is of the order of 10 nm. A system can be used to implant/sputter away material, deposit or preferentially etch metals and insulators in selected areas. Up to about 10 years ago, focused ion beam systems were mainly used in the semiconductor industry for circuit modifications; by the cutting and re-routing of interconnects. However, they are now being used for a range of novel micro and nanoengineering applications. In this paper, the application and potential use of focused ion beam systems to micro and nanoengineering is discussed. Examples of applications, such as the milling of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes, ion lithography, and the preparation of site specific specimens for materials characterisation, are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-748
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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