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Velion FIB-SEM for FIB-centric nanofabrication

The recently installed Raith Velion system at the CNMS is a combined Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that operates a variety of isotopically controlled ion sources for imaging, milling and deposition.

CNMS’ demonstrated strength in nanofabrication, electron/ion beam induced deposition, synergistic efforts in high performance computing, multivariate statistics as well as artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for material processing makes the Velion a logical choice as this tool will significantly extend the capabilities available to our users.

The Raith Velion boots a unique large area write capability, with sub 10 nm structure veracity over millimeter scale fields-of-view; 3D nanoscale manufacturing by focused ion beam induced deposition with gas injection, and in-situ device testing via a set of micromanipulators.

Access to multiple ion sources within a single column, offers many opportunities for creative material synthesis and modification especially for the emerging area of quantum systems. The in-situ SEM column offers an independent channel of information to track the quality of and reproducibility of ion deposition and milling.

Currently available, Ga, Au/Si and Si/Ge heated eutectic sources, operating at high (50 keV) and low (2 keV) acceleration regimes, offer spatial resolution ranging from 10 to 50 nm.

Novel ion beams (already under development as a partnership with Raith) offer diverse functionality for topological state protection (Sn, Pb), magnetism (Cr, Ni), and silicon (B, P) along with wide band semiconductor doping (Si, Sn); as these options are highly desirable for directing matter at the nanoscale.


  • Dedicated nano-FIB three-ion 35 kV column for direct, Ga-free, and three beam (either of the following: Si, Ge, Au) nanofabrication
  • Tailored high-resolution FE-SEM inspection 30 kV column
  • Laser interferometer stage, 4” full travel.
  • Multi-species ion beam technology
  • Matured software for nanofabrication and inspection
  • Truly continuous writing strategies
  • Gas injection, nano manipulators, rotation and tilt sample holder.

Detailed technical specifications

  • Beam size for Si++ at 35 keV:  5.7 nm
  • Beam size for Au++ at 35 keV:  10.6 nm
  • Beam size for Au+ at 35 keV:  13.2 nm
  • Beam size SEM at 10kV:  3.6 nm
  • Minimum patterned in 30 nm Au film feature size:
    • with Si++ at 35keV:  16.7 nm
    • with Au++ at 35keV:  18.6 nm

Examples of Structures Possible with the Velion

Lines milled by Si++
16.8 nm lines milled by Si++ beam in 40 nm thick gold film. Probe current 1 pA.
photonic crystal
Photonic crystal in PMMA resist after exposure by Si++ beam and development.
Pt lines
Metal line of minimum 77.3 nm wide deposited from a Pt precursor.