In addition to conventional processes like electron beam and optical lithography
, focused ion beam (short form: FIB) technology is now an established nanofabrication processes. Focused ion beams offer an increasingly wide range of applications, for more details visit Wikipedia.
The main advantage for nanofabrication of using focused ion beam is the possibility to directly modify or structure surfaces, without intermediate resist masking. With focused ion beam real-time 3D device prototyping has become possible and extensively used by the scientific community. Various analytical instruments nowadays combine focused ion beam optics with electron beam optics. This allows real-time observation and control of the nanofabrication process for single nanodevices or over small areas. To apply focused ion beam technique to fabricate nanostructures over larger areas or highly automated and repeatable, a technical setup in the form of a lithography
system is preferable : read more about ionLiNE