Helium Ion Microscopy

Diederik J. Maas, Raoul van Gastel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The realization of a practical helium gas field ionization source (GFIS) enabled helium ion microscopy (HIM) as a new technique to image and modify materials and microstructures. After a brief overview of most common ultra-microscopy techniques (TEM, SEM, Gallium FIB) and HIM, we introduce the interaction fundamentals of helium ions with matter. A key element of that interaction is that the resulting signals for imaging, nanofabrication and analysis, i.e. the secondary electrons and backscattered ions, are to a very high degree localized around the incidence point of the helium beam. This simple fact allows the helium ion microscope to enable a new and unique view of surfaces and provide a new method for material modification. We highlight several applications for imaging and nanofabrication using the sub-nanometer sized helium probe of the HIM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSurface Sciences Techniques
EditorsGianangelo Bracco, Bodil Holst
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-34243-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-34242-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Surface Sciences
ISSN (Print)0931-5195


  • METIS-296590
  • IR-89927
  • Mean Free Path
  • Secondary Electron Yield
  • Secondary Electron Signal
  • Backscatter Yield
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy Lamella


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