Focused ion beam (FIB) systems have become powerful diagnostic and modification tools for nanoscience and nanotechnology. Gas field ion sources (GFISs) built from atomic-size emitters offer the highest brightness among all ion sources and thus can improve the spatial resolution of FIB systems. Here we show that the Ir/W(111) single-atom tip (SAT) can emit high-brightness Xe+ ion beams with a high current stability. The ion emission current versus extraction voltage was analyzed from 150 K up to 309 K. The optimal emitter temperature for maximum Xe+ ion emission was ∼150 K and the reduced brightness at the Xe gas pressure of 1 ×10-4 torr is two to three orders of magnitude higher than that of a Ga liquid metal ion source, and four to five orders of magnitude higher than that of a Xe inductively coupled plasma ion source. Most surprisingly, the SAT emitter remained stable even when operated at 309 K. Even though the ion current decreased with increasing temperature, the current at room temperature (RT) could still reach over 1 pA when the gas pressure was higher than 1 ×10-3 torr, indicating the feasibility of RT-Xe-GFIS for application to FIB systems. The operation temperature of Xe-SAT-GFIS is considerably higher than the cryogenic temperature required for the helium ion microscope (HIM), which offers great technical advantages because only simple or no cooling schemes can be adopted. Thus, Xe-GFIS-FIB would be easy to implement and may become a powerful tool for nanoscale milling and secondary ion mass spectroscopy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化學 (全部)