"Ion Beams for Materials Processing and Imaging: the Plasma FIB"


Liquid Metal ion sources have allowed the development of field effect electric propulsion systems and showed the way for the development of very high resolution imaging systems, down to 1 nm. Recently they have been used for nano-fabrication by using the mass of the ions to sputter and activate the surface of materials to create nano-machines. They suffer from low processing rates, due to the nature of the field emission process, and modification of the electrical properties of the surface due to the use of metallic ions. Plasma FIBs provide a 100 fold increase in processing speed at the cost of some loss in resolution. This new instrument will be described along with some recent applications.