Focused ion beam (FIB) technology came a long way from its advent in the seventies, when their utility for maskless doping of silicon was first proposed. Today it plays an important role in applications, which range from micro- and nanofabrication to sample preparation and materials characterization. This contribution concentrates on the fabrication of nano-objects with electrons and ions in-situ inside a dual beam scanning electron and focused ion beam microscope. In particular we have explored a new phenomenon, i.e. ion-induced bending phenomena which may serve as a versatile tool to manufacture nanostructured devices. Bending was studied in free standing cantilevers and this phenomenon of bending of cantilevers towards the incident beam is discussed in terms of local volume change due to accumulation of radiation induced vacancies and substitutional atoms. A model is proposed to explain the observations, based on a set of rate equations for concentrations of point defects, i.e. vacancies, self-interstitials and implanted Ga atoms. The influence of preexisting defects is also discussed. In addition to ions, also electrons can used to manufacture nano-objects inside the electron microscope Recent examples will be highlighted of nanoclusters of metallic systems we have produced and studied through focused-electron-beam induced deposition.
The work shows that an in-depth understanding of focused electron and focused ion beams can play a predictive role in a quantitative control in for the nanofabrication of small-sized nano- products.