A microfabricated ion frequency standard (i.e. an ion clock) is disclosed with a permanently-sealed vacuum package containing a source of ytterbium (Yb) ions and an octupole ion trap. The source of Yb ions is a micro-hotplate which generates Yb atoms which are then ionized by a ultraviolet light-emitting diode or a field-emission electron source. The octupole ion trap, which confines the Yb ions, is formed from suspended electrodes on a number of stacked-up substrates. A microwave source excites a ground-state transition frequency of the Yb ions, with a frequency-doubled vertical-external-cavity laser (VECSEL) then exciting the Yb ions up to an excited state to produce fluorescent light which is used to tune the microwave source to the ground-state transition frequency, with the microwave source providing a precise frequency output for the ion clock.