An optical-fiber based light channel system is included in an ion/electron beam tool for imaging and/or processing integrated circuits. The optical channel system includes an image collection portion, an optical fiber image transmission portion and a detector portion. The image collection portion includes micro-optical components and has submillimeter dimensions, so that it is easily accommodated within the working distance of the ion/electron beam tool. The entire system is sufficiently compact and lightweight so that it may easily be mounted on a translation stage inside the sample chamber, which permits the optical channel to be mechanically extended and retracted to avoid blocking the primary ion or electron beam. The system may be mounted to a translation stage or to a gas injector assembly, which may itself be mounted to a flange plate on the chamber wall with feed-through ports for electrical and optical signals.