High-resolution focused ion beams

Orloff, Jon
May 1993
Review of Scientific Instruments;May93, Vol. 64 Issue 5, p1105
Academic Journal
The technology of high-resolution focused ion beams has advanced dramatically in the past 15 years as focusing systems have evolved from laboratory instruments producing minuscule current densities to high current density tools which have sparked an important new process: direct micromachining at the micrometer level. This development has been due primarily to the exploitation of field emission ion sources and in particular the liquid-metal ion source. Originally developed in the early 1960's as a byproduct of the development of electrostatic rocket engines, the liquid-metal ion source was adapted for focused beam work in the late 1970's, when it was demonstrated that submicrometer focused ion beams could be produced with current densities greater than 1 A cm[sup -2]. Ions can be produced with liquid-metal ion sources from elements including Al, As, Au, B, Be, Bi, Cs, Cu, Ga, Ge, Fe, In, Li, P, Pb, Pd, Si, Sn, and Zn. In the past decade, focused ion beam systems with liquid-metal ion sources have had a significant impact on the semiconductor industry as they were applied to new and greatly improved methods of failure analysis, as well as circuit repair and modification, in situ processing, and lithographic mask repair. This article discusses field emission ion sources, high-resolution ion focusing systems, and means for analyzing their performance. A number of technologically interesting and useful applications are also discussed.


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