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Creation of Controlled Defects Inside Colloidal Crystal Arrays with a Focused Ion Beam

Simone Magni1* and Marziale Milani2

Author Affiliations

1 Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, School of Physics and Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK

2 Department of Materials Science and Laboratory FIB/SEM ‘Bombay’, University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cozzi 53, 20125, Milan, Italy

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1182-1189  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9623-0

Published: 12 May 2010


In this work the reliability of the focused-ion-beam (FIB) patterning on polystyrene (PS) colloidal crystals at different scales is determined. Ordered arrays of PS spheres (465 nm) are successfully modified by selectively removing a single sphere. The water-vapor assisted FIB milling is crucial to obtain this result. Furthermore, isolated PS spheres are FIB drilled with or without chemically enhanced milling aiming at the exploration of the limits of such a technique. These controlled defects created using the FIB-assisted techniques may be helpful in preparing mockups of photonic crystals, sensors or as colloidal masks for diverse lithographic processes.

(Ion-assisted) Lithography; Positive-ion beams; Ion-beam impact interactions; Colloidal system; Photonic band gap materials