A plasma-formed ion-beam projection lithography (IPL) system eliminates the acceleration stage between the ion source and stencil mask of a conventional IPL system. Instead a much thicker mask is used as a beam forming or extraction electrode, positioned next to the plasma in the ion source. Thus the entire beam forming electrode or mask is illuminated uniformly with the source plasma. The extracted beam passes through an acceleration and reduction stage onto the resist coated wafer. Low energy ions, about 30 eV, pass through the mask, minimizing heating, scattering, and sputtering.