For over two decades, focused ion beam (FIB) was primarily produced for major semiconductor manufacturers and its application was mainly restricted to semiconductor industry. However, in recent times, FIB is being used in several other sectors such as biology, metallurgy, polymers, composites, pharmaceuticals, and ceramics. This widespread application has been a result of focused ion beam coupling with electron microscope column to develop a dual bean FIB system. Naturally, developing innovative products is among the most common strategy that existing players are adopting to gain market share.
For instance, in February 2016, ZEISS showcased its focused ion bean scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) technology, featuring a modular platform concept, which has an easily extendable software architecture. The ZEISS FIB-SEM Crossbeam 340 and Crossbeam 540 are suitable for high throughput nanotomography and nanofabrication of even the most demanding, charging, or magnetic samples. These 3D nano-workstations speed up nanotomography and nanofabrication applications. Combining the Gemini electron beam column’s 3D imaging technology and analytical performance with the focused ion beam’s material processing, these SEMs offer optimum performance, robust stability, and a uniform beam profile.
Apart from ZEISS, some of the other prominent players in the global FIB market include Fibics Incorporated, Evans Analytical Group, Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, and FEI. In 2014, the global focused beam market was valued at US$2.8 bn, and rising at a healthy CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period of 2015 to 2021, it is estimated to reach a valuation of US$4.6 bn by 2021.
North America Remains Most Lucrative Market
The global market for focused ion beam can be segmented on the basis of ion sources, application, and geography. By ion sources, the market is segmented into gallium, gold, and iridium while by application, the market is divided into circuit edit, device modification, material science, nanofabrication, and failure analysis. In semiconductor industry, FIB are used as instruments for failure analysis in detecting assembly errors, design errors, and manufacturing defects. Geographically, the report studies the regional markets of North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
In 2014, North America served the maximum market for focused ion beam, at 40% of the global shares, owing to the factors such as surging demand for FIB systems in manufacturing and semiconductor industries in this region. Asia Pacific was the second most lucrative region in 2014, accounting for 26% of the demand.
Failure Analysis Segment Sustaining Demand
Some of the key factors driving the global focused ion beam market include escalating demand for ion beam lithography, growing demand for failure analysis equipment, and greater application of focused ion beam systems in the area of material science. Nowadays, focused ion beam systems are commonly found in a wide range of applications in the material science laboratories such as circuit editing, specimen preparation and generation of 3D visualization, microstructural analysis, and prototype nanomachining. Semiconductor and manufacturing industries continue to use FIB systems as failure analysis equipment to detect the primary cause of failure and prevent its reoccurrence. Moreover, increase in demand for ion lithography is further propelling the growth of the global focused ion beam market. Focused ion beams used in lithography offer higher resolution patterning in comparison to X-ray, UV or electron beam lithography.
The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, “Focused Ion Beam Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2021.”
Key Segments of the Focused Ion Beam Market
Focused ion beam market, by Ion Sources
Focused ion beam market, by Applications
Focused ion beam market, by Geography
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