focused ion beam abbr., FIB (rus. сфокусированный ионный пучок otherwise фокусированный ионный пучок abbr., СИП) — the directed ion flux, which is widely used in material science for the local analysis, spraying etching of materials.


A focused ion beam is generated by liquid metal ion sources based on gallium, gold, iridium and other metals. Ions are accelerated to 5-50 keV energies and focused into a beam of several nanometres in diameter by using electrostatic lenses. An electrostatic lens is a system of various shape diaphragms electrodes with holes or slots for ions to pass through.

When the sample surface is affected by the FIB, ions destroy the chemical bonds and ionize it, and get implanted to a several nanometre depth. However, unlike electron beams, FIB allows for the layer-by-layer removal of atoms from the surface without damaging the deeper layers of the target. Nanoscale precision FIB operations are underpinned by a small beam diameter (2.5-6 nm).

Focused ion beams are used as the basis for ion microscopes, material precision cutting and ion etching tools, mass spectrometers, etc.


  • Veresov Alexander G.
  • Saranin Alexander A.


  1. L.A. Cherezova. Ion-beam techniques in optical technology: Textbook (in Russian). — SPb.: SPbGU ITMO, 2007. — 151 P.
  2. Handbook of microscopy for nanotechnology / Ed. by Nan Yao, Zhong Lin Wang. — Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2005. — 731 p.

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