Widespread adoption and significant developments in Focused Ion Beam technology has made FIB/SEM instrumentation a commonplace sample preparation tool. Fundamental limitations inherent to Ga ion species complicate usage of Ga+ FIB instruments for the modification of semiconductor devices on advanced technology nodes. Said limitations are fueling interest in exploring alternative primary species and ion beam technologies for circuit edit applications. Exploratory tests of etching typical semiconductor materials with Xe ion beams generated from two plasma ion sources confirmed advantages of Xe+ as a potential ion species for gas-assisted etching of semiconductor materials, but also revealed potential complications including, swelling of metal and Xe+ retention within the material arising from excessive Xe ion beam current density.

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