Nanofabrication at the Sub 10 nm Length Scale Using Helium and Neon Ion Microscopy

D. Elswick, M. Ananth, C. Huynh, L. Stern
Carl Zeiss Microscopy, US

Keywords: nanofabrication, nanopatterning, plasmonics, nanophotonics, nanopores, focused ion beam, FIB, helium ion mircoscopy, HIM, graphene, lithography


Charged particle beams offer the greatest flexibility and the highest throughput for prototyping customized devices for research and development. Traditional approaches utilize a gallium focused ion beam or electron beam for fabrication. While the gallium ion beam is ideal for rapid material removal, the smallest features that can be machined by this technique are about 30 nm in size. Ion microscopy with helium or neon beams created from a gas field ion source (GFIS) shows great potential and flexibility for many imaging and nanofabrication applications. With a helium or neon ion beam, sub-10 nm structures can be routinely fabricated even in very sensitive materials such as graphene. Additionally, the beam-sample interaction dynamics of helium/neon ion beams offer unique contrast and stunning surface detail at sub 0.5nm lateral resolution.