Targeted irradiation of nanostructures by a finely focused ion beam provides routes to improved control of material modification and understanding of the physics of interactions between ion beams and nanomaterials. Here, we studied radiation damage in crystalline diamond and silicon nanostructures using a focused helium ion beam, with the former exhibiting extremely long-range ion propagation and large plastic deformation in a process visibly analogous to blow forming. We report the dependence of damage morphology on material, geometry, and irradiation conditions (ion dose, ion energy, ion species, and location). We anticipate that our method and findings will not only improve the understanding of radiation damage in isolated nanostructures, but will also support the design of new engineering materials and devices for current and future applications in nanotechnology.

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