Nanoquest II Ion Mill

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Nanoquest II Ion Mill
Equipment Details
Manufacturer Intlvac Thin Film
Model Nanoquest II
Technology Ion milling
Materials Restriction Metals
Sample Size 100 mm, 150 mm
Gases Used Ar, O2, N2
Equipment Manual
Overview System Overview
Operating Procedure not released
Supported Processes Supported Processes
User Processes User Processes
Maintenance Maintenance

The Nanoquest II Ion Mill is an ion beam etching (ion milling) system manufactured by Intlvac Thin Film Corporation. It is used for non-reactive, anisotropic etching of thin films particularly for difficult to etch materials. It is capable of etch rates from 2 to 40 nm per minute (material dependent).


  • Etch rates of < 2 nm/min up to > 40 nm/min for a wide variety of materials

System overview

Hardware details

  • Source Gases
    • Ar - 50 sccm
    • O2 - 50 sccm
    • N2 - 50 sccm
  • Gas Ring
    • O2 - 50 sccm
    • N2 - 50 sccm
Each gas can be delivered to either the source or gas ring, but not both
  • Pressure
    • Ebara EMT3300MK turbo pump
    • Base pressure < 10-7
  • Actively cooled platen with Dri-chuck mounting system
    • 100 mm and 150 mm chucks available
    • 5°C - 40°C range
  • KRI RFICP220 gridded ion source
    • Beam current up to 1500 mA
    • Beam voltage up to 1000 V
  • 3" dia RF magnetron sputter cathode

Substrate requirements

Material restrictions

The Nanoquest II Ion Mill is designated as a Metals class tool. Below is a list of approved materials for the tool. Approved means the material is allowed in the tool under normal circumstances. If a material is not listed, please create a helpdesk ticket or email for any material requests or questions.

Supported processes

Initial characterization data for several recipes provided by the vendor are shown in the table below. Data is for thermal oxide and SPR 220. Uniformity data is from the thermal oxide measurement on 150 mm wafers with 10 mm edge exclusion.

Recipe Name Oxide Etch Rate
SPR 220 Etch Rate
(10 mm EE)
LNF_200VB_165IB_40VA 3.4 1.8 4.1%
LNF_300VB_320IB_60VA 8.9 4.5%
LNF_400VB_510IB_80VA 16.6 14.2 3.9%
LNF_500VB_740IB_100VA 27.2 21.7 4.9%
LNF_600VB_500IB_120VA 23.2 18.6 1.5%
LNF_600VB_990IB_120VA 40.2 35.1 3.1%
LNF_800VB_500IB_160VA 25.4 3.9%
For all process questions, fill out the process request form and create a helpdesk ticket.

Standard Operating Procedure

This SOP is still currently a draft. Please use caution when using the tool and take note of any additional information or changes provided by the tool engineer.

Checkout procedure

  1. Complete the sample mounting course. If you have already completed this for another tool, you do not need to complete it again.
  2. Read through this page and the Standard Operating Procedure above.
  3. Complete the process request form.
  4. Create a Helpdesk Ticket requesting training.
  5. A tool engineer will schedule a time for initial training.
  6. Practice with your mentor or another authorized user until you are comfortable with tool operation.
  7. Schedule a checkout session with a tool engineer via the helpdesk ticket system. If this checkout is successful, the engineer will authorize you on the tool.


As part of the maintenance performed on the tool a 6" SiO2 wafer is etched with LNF_600VB_500IB_120VA for 10min. The etch rate is measured at 25 sites, the average of this is shown below.