High Energy Focused Ion Beams: New Tools for the Nano Era

Dr. Gary A. Glass
Louisiana Accelerator Center
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    With the advent of new manufacturing technologies applied to lens systems and ion sources, increases in ion source brightness, and enhanced energy resolution and stability of high energy accelerators, the demagnification of high energy (MeV) ion beams to sub-micron dimensions has become possible.  The utilization of nondestructive elemental micro-analysis capabilities of a High Energy Focused Ion Beam (HEFIB) nanoprobe with a deliverable high probe current offers advantages for researchers in many disciplines including metallurgy, geology, environmental sciences, archaeology, microbiology, plant sciences, biology, medicine, and materials.  The combination of detection sensitivity, quantification, elemental specificity over a wide isotopic range, small detection volume, and minimal data acquisition time gives this analytical application of ion beams significant advantages when compared with other techniques.
    Additionally, the increased sophistication of focusing system control of micro/nano-sized probes now facilitates the application of high energy (MeV) protons in a direct write lithographic process called P-beam writing.  P-beam writing has been shown to have several distinct advantages as a lithographic technique: (a) it has a three dimensional (3-D) capability, (b) it is a direct write, or maskless process, (c) it can create high aspect ratio structures, (e) it has significantly reduced proximity effects, and (f) it is relatively fast.
    This presentation will describe: (1) An overview of the present state of HEFIB system technology and nanoprobe system design, (2) specific analytical applications to several disciplines including geology, biology, materials, and detector technology, (3) recent work in the lithographic application of P-beam writing in polymer resists and silicon, (4) initial work in the development of high energy heavy ion beam lithography (HI-beam writing), and (5) a look into the future of HEFIB systems.