National Research Council of Canada. National Institute for Nanotechnology
The scanning ion microscopy is gaining momentum as it provides several key advantages over scanning electron microscopy: (i) enhanced depth of focus, (ii) improved surface and element sensitivity, (iii) better lateral resolution, and (iv) nanomachining and milling. It uses different ions to achieve these tasks ranging from inert gases like helium and neon for imaging and ion milling. Other gases such as argon, nitrogen, and oxygen have potential for further sputtering and etching. It is therefore crucial that gas field ion sources provide necessary robustness and stability for range of various gases.