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NanoFab Tool: 4Wave IBE-20B Ion Milling System

Photograph of the 4Wave IBE-20B ion milling system.

The 4Wave IBE-20B ion milling system uses a broad argon ion beam to controllably and uniformly remove material from a user's substrate. A secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) endpoint detector can stop etching within 0.2 nm of the interface between two dissimilar materials. The substrate stage rotates for improved uniformity and can accommodate substrates ranging from 150 mm diameter wafers down to small pieces.


  • Gridded ion source: 20 cm in diameter; provides collimated, high energy ion flux.
  • Endpoint control using SIMS endpoint detector.
  • Plasma bridge neutralizer prevents charging at sample surface.
  • Maximum substrate rotation rate: up to 20 rpm.
  • Substrate tilt: 0° to 135°.
  • Substrate cooling keeps samples below 80 °C.
  • Base vacuum: 6.66 x 10-6 Pa (5 x 10-8 Torr).

Usage Information

Supported Sample Sizes

  • Maximum wafer diameter: 150 mm (6 in).
  • Small pieces supported: Yes.

Typical Applications

  • Fabrication of spin valves.
  • Spintronics.
  • Magnetic storage.
  • Grating fabrication.
  • Communications components.
  • Microwave components.
  • Biomedical sensors.
  • Fiber optics components.
Created June 22, 2014, Updated February 24, 2023