Table 2: Ion beam lithography instrument requirements and options to consider.

Instrument componentImportant features, requirements, and options

Ion source and ion opticsHighly bright, small spot ion source
Long-term source emission stability and a reasonable lifetime
Optics design and lens operation optimized for best focus and optimal beam profile, high on-axis angular intensity at various currents, easily changeable for the smallest features as well as for m, mm, and perhaps cm sized patterns 
Accurate beam placement and low distortion beam deflection

Sample stageAccurate stage translation with nm steps and high repeatability
Rotation and tilt for 3D applications and process development
Sample size from mm² for process development to wafer-scale, supporting mix and match with other lithography techniques
Exact absolute position addressing for blind navigation
High position stability by sample mounts and stage concept
Position monitoring, control, and automatic corrections

Pattern generation electronics and beam controlSuitable patterning electronics speed, buffer memory size, and DAC resolution 
Stable, low-noise electronics (pattern generator, amplifier, supplies)
Fast beam blanking and accurate timing of blanking
Available various beam deflection styles and built-in patterns

SoftwareOffering both intuitive manual and automated, unattended operation
Supporting lithography pattern design file formats, like GDSII
Handling all basic patterning parameters and advanced features like groups, higher level ordering and repetition, pattern alignments, or automatic corrections (see Section 4 for patterning concepts) 
Allowing user defined sample coordinate-based navigation 
Available live feedback and end-point detection techniques

Sample chamber and additional capabilitiesArchitecture and overall arrangement of stage and column should support the main purpose of the instrument 
Accommodating samples and wafers of appropriate size 
Suitable loading mechanisms (possibly through load lock) 
Gas injectors, detectors, microprobes, and other customization should be installed based on need