Ion beam sputtering (IBS) possesses strong surface nanostructuring behaviors, where dual microscopic phenomenon can be aroused to induce the formation of ultrasmooth surfaces or regular nanostructures. Low-energy IBS of fused silica surfaces is investigated to discuss the formation mechanism and the regulation of the IBS-induced nanostructures. The research results indicate that these microscopic phenomena can be attributed to the interaction of the IBS-induced surface roughening and smoothing effects, and the interaction process strongly depends on the sputtering conditions. Alternatively, ultrasmooth surface or regular nanostructure can be selectively generated through the regulation of the nanostructuring process, and the features of the generated nanostructures, such as amplitude and period, also can be regulated. Consequently, two different technology aims of nanofabrication, including nanometer-scale and nanometer-precision fabrication, can be realized, respectively. These dual microscopic mechanisms distinguish IBS as a promising nanometer manufacturing technology for the optical surfaces.