The removal of material to create tiny structures with very high precision has long been possible with the ion beam and can be referred to as nanofabrication or nanopatterning. These terms are related to patterning techniques like electron beam lithography EBL providing the same result but not in a direct way without resist or masking layers. Direct write ion beam nanopatterning which, uses a focused ion beam to create features directly into the surface reduces the number of steps compared to EBL  , offers patterning in 3D as well as on 3D samples and provides the ability to etch and deposit in the same chamber [10,11].
FIB nanopatterning is currently the only nanofabrication method capable of creating high-resolution 3-dimensional structures, which are of interest in templating applications. Other options are laser-ablation or laser based 3D two-photon polymerisation, although both typically lack the resolution that the FIB offers. What follows is an overview of the applications in which the FIB has been used. A number of good reviews are available and cover these areas in detail [12,13,14,15]. In addition to the many examples of ion beam milling, ion beam platforms are equipped with in chamber gas injection systems that use the ion beam to perform ion beam gas deposition [10,11].
The options are numerous and include metals such as platinum and tungsten or carbon or silicon oxide. On the other hand also etchant precursors like fluorine are commonly used in order to increase the removal rate or selectivity, reduce local contamination implantation and re-deposition and achieve higher aspect ratio structures. Ion beams are capable of patterning a surface but also modifying the surface and thereby preparing it for subsequent processing steps.
A good example of this is demonstrated in preparation or growth of graphene or nanowires [16,17] where the Au and Si of a multi-source column was used to functionalise the surface. Exposure of a surface to the FIB has also been applied in the nucleation and growth of gold nanoparticles and CoPt nanoclusters [18,19,20]. Using the same technology GaAs epitaxially grown vertical nanowires were produced on GaAs surfaces . The area of microfluidics is an exciting one and offers new potential in multiple areas including healthcare and food sciences, however, the key to this is obviously the fabrication of the tiny and often complex structures that aim to ensure mixing.
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In this area the FIB is unparalleled in its ability to create three-dimensional see Figure 3 structures of high complexity and low dimensions directly into the substrate  or into a mould that can allow straightforward replication and thereby lower production costs. Plasmons are electron plasma oscillations that are coupled to electromagnetic waves locally bound to an interface of a conductor and dielectric. The fact that they are confined to tens of nanometer distances means that surface films or structures nanoparticles or islands of gold and silver are commonly used.
Milling can give rise to grooves, holes, gaps and the creation of nanostructures [24,25] as in the case Figure 4, which depicts plasmonic structures that have been created using various nanoprocessing techniques including electron beam lithography and ion beam nanopatterning. All such structures help with the generation, propagation and manipulation of the plasmons.
Figure 4. SEM micrographs of 40 nm thick segmented gold islands made by EBL plus precisely overlaid milling of crossing lines.
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Localized surface plasmons interact through the approximately 20 nm wide gaps that were intentionally overmilled deeper into the silicon, as this feature was predicted to favorably affect electromagnetic field enhancement . Often the desired structures cover larger than the field of view and so special techniques must be employed to reproduce the same pattern over and over with attention to any drift that the system may suffer and alignment of the multiple exposure areas.
Repetitive stitching employing a high precision lithography stage based on laser interferometer position detection resulted in a 2 mm structure that took 4 hrs using at Ga LMIS at 35 kV Figure 5. Figure 5. Photonic waveguide structure prepared using a Ga FIB and precision stage technology for write field stitching. Zone plates allow x-rays to be focused and are concentric rings with a specific spacing between the rings.
Understandably the fabrication of such structures require a precision technique such as nanofabrication. Figure 6. The zone plate showed a X-ray performance at least as predicted from theory. Alongside the many uses of the FIB to mill or etch samples, little has been mentioned about its applications in implanting ions into materials.
Silicon carbide SiC is a semi-conductor material that can be grown as inch-scale high quality single-crystal wafers that has been used in microelectronics and high-power systems. A promising area is in the application of the FIB in the creation of SiC with silicon vacancies for use in quantum computing or photonics. Recently there is also a growing interest in various group 4 elements to be implanted into diamond as well as other ion-substrate material systems. Figure 7. Ion beam technology is now mature and has wide-ranging applicability in an ever growing range of fields. The choice of sources, beam technologies and deposition systems means that researchers and industrial users can do more with highly reproducible rates, boost productivity and create solutions to problems of nanofabrication more easily than ever before.
Whether using the GFIS low beam current, currently highest resolution for the creation of the smallest dimensions or Xe plasma FIB ICP resolution optimized plasma ion sources, high probe currents for large scale materials removal there are options on both ends of the scale. There can be no doubt that the versatile LMIS Ga has the widest reaching applications, however, not to be overlooked are specialist combination sources for nano patterning dedicated LM A IS instruments exhibiting good long-term stability, mid beam current, high resolution, maturity and a large selection of incident ions species.
Bauerdick, L. Bruchhaus, P. Mazarov et al.
Bischoff, W. Pilz, P. Orloff, M. Utlaut, and L. Mazarov, A. Wieck, L. Bischoff et al. Utke, P.
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IV A SF 6 isotropic dry etching removed the silicon underneath and suspended the diamond membrane at devices' locations. Inset: Measured cavity resonance blue dots at The process detailed above has many other advantages over conventional lithography methods. Silicon membrane hard masks can be re-used multiple times for dry etching. For oxygen plasma etching of diamond membranes, the silicon etch rate is negligible, while typical etch rates of diamond are 1. We demonstrated 8.
S2b online. Deeper etching should be possible with silicon masks if we use SOI chips with thicker device layer. Unlike soft materials 24 , 25 , 45 , 46 and nitride membranes 6 , 47 , 48 , 49 , silicon masks have no internal stress or distortion, even after the transfer, and are free of folding and wrinkling. Additionally, we can protect the surface of silicon masks by depositing etch-resistant materials on them.
For example, Cr deposited by electron beam or thermal evaporation makes silicon masks more etch-resistant against fluorinated gases.
ludefoxcduck.tk Alumina deposited by atomic layer deposition also protects silicon masks from chlorine etching. The lift-off process is the most direct solution to transfer patterns into materials that are not etchable, such as many magnetic metals, high-temperature superconductors, and precious metals. Generally, the lift-off is accomplished by using a resist that can be dissolved by a solvent, sometimes with an aid of ultrasonication. Poor metal adhesion can become detrimental when resist scum is left on the surface The lift-off is straightforward with the silicon mask transfer process and requires no liquid or sonication steps.
It can be applied on almost any arbitrarily chosen substrates, and unlike the conventional lift-off processes, naturally no residual scum is left behind. The ability to pattern such narrow lines indicates that our silicon masks, in contact with target substrates, provide better spatial linewidth than metal deposition using suspended silicon nitride masks with frames 47 , 48 , The deposition of thicker metal films was not tested and may require thicker silicon masks. And a close-up SEM image Fig. Silicon masks can be re-used multiple times for dry lift-off as well.
We can also use the ALD of alumina to conformably shrink the mask size to achieve controllable metal lift-off with 0.
II A metal layer was deposited via an electron beam or thermal evaporation. III A tungsten tip was swept across a silicon mask to mechanically remove the mask. Nanofabrication using transferred silicon membrane hard masks can be applied to substrates of irregular shape. As a proof of concept, we demonstrated patterning of gold nanodot arrays on a fibre facet. Functionalization on optical fibres has recently attracted much attention because fibre-based devices can be small, lightweight and portable for in-situ sensing, imaging, and optical trapping applications 52 , 53 , However, the size and the shape of an optical fibre preclude the use of conventional lithographic processes Producing a uniformly thick layer of resist by spin coating is a particular challenge, and mounting optical fibres in electron-beam writers or optical lithography tools is difficult.
To overcome these challenges, we transferred a silicon mask onto a fibre facet using the micro-PDMS adhesive described above Fig. Our process can also be applied to create patterns by etching or dry lift-off on AFM cantilevers, curved lenses, and many other irregular substrates. Inset: The expanded view of the silicon membrane on the fibre core.
Inset: The expanded view of the white rectangular region to show gold dots on the fibre facet. Nanofabrication using transferred silicon membrane hard masks avoids direct electron or ion beam exposure on target substrates.
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This provides an alternative methodology suitable for samples that are non-conductive, electron sensitive or easily damaged by electron or ion irradiation. In our laboratory, we also use these masks for nanopatterned nitrogen ion implantation on a diamond to form proximal qubit clusters We demonstrated successful fabrication of suspended high-Q diamond PC devices, as well as patterning of nm metal lines on a silicon substrate. Silicon masks furthermore enabled us to integrate arrays of gold nanodots on a facet of an optical fibre.
The introduced silicon masks, ranging in scale from tens of micrometres to a few millimetres, can be re-used multiple times. Nanofabrication using transferred hard masks expands the applicability of standard patterning techniques to new substrates and offers exceptionally high spatial patterning resolution with excellent etching selectivity. The nanopatterned silicon membranes were fabricated using EBL and cryogenic etching.
Development at low temperature improved the quality of the resist layer After removing the tip, a droplet of PDMS formed near its sharpest point. The droplet was dried in warm air, forming a hemisphere ball that was firmly attached to the tungsten tip. Then the PDMS-tipped tungsten probe was mounted on a six-axis micromanipulator for pick-and-place.