A system for maskless ion beam machining was constructed to evaluate the advantages of this technique over conventional flood beam ion etching. Erosion is through impact with a finely focused beam of 8 to 9keV In(+) ions produced by a liquid metal ion microprobe. Points on the sample surface are addressed by a low cost computer controlled scan generator. Although machining trials are carried out under normal high vacuum conditions, the modular construction and long working distance of the microprobe make it a suitable design for reactive gas environments. End-point detection is possible through observation of the collected stage current and/or the output from a charge particle detector. Tests demonstrate the ability of the machine to solve a number of materials preparation problems. The column, by virtue of its constant current density characteristic, is particularly suited to relatively large area machining. The versatility of the microprobe would be greatly enhanced by the addition of a preaperture change mechanism.
NASA STI/Recon Technical Report N
- Pub Date:
- Ion Beams;
- Ion Probes;
- Computer Aided Manufacturing;
- Imaging Techniques;
- Engineering (General)