Focused ion beam (FIB) is an invaluable tool for manipulating and fabricating at the nanoscale. FIB systems are similar to scanning electron microscopes, except that they use a beam of ions rather than electrons.
Scanning an ion beam over a substrate can modify its surface in several ways, allowing material to be added, removed or altered, depending on the properties of the beam and the substrate. FIB is therefore a highly flexible fabrication technique.
This briefing provides an introduction to the nanofabrication applications of FIB, explaining how the technique works, outlining the sort of structures it can produce and detailing how patterning can be controlled.
This EKB outlines various practical issues related to FIB nanofabrication and describes potential problems that can arise, as well as how to resolve them.