A focused ion beam (FIB) system produces a final beam spot size down to 0.1 .mu.m or less and an ion beam output current on the order of microamps. The FIB system increases ion source brightness by properly configuring the first (plasma) and second (extraction) electrodes. The first electrode is configured to have a high aperture diameter to electrode thickness aspect ratio. Additional accelerator and focusing electrodes are used to produce the final beam. As few as five electrodes can be used, providing a very compact FIB system with a length down to only 20 mm. Multibeamlet arrangements with a single ion source can be produced to increase throughput. The FIB system can be used for nanolithography and doping applications for fabrication of semiconductor devices with minimum feature sizes of 0.1 .mu.m or less.