The ion beam implantation process (IBI) uses a low-pressure high-energy ion beam to modify and enhance a material surface. It was developed during the 70s-80s by physics laboratories specialized in microelectronic domains to create p-n junctions. At that time, different studies showed that the ion beam implantation technology significantly improves the surface performances of implanted materials : hardness, friction coefficient, optical behaviors, and chemical resistance among others. Unfortunately, the size and the cost of the equipment have hindered large scale industrial applications until now.
Since 2017, IONICS, thanks to a strong partnership with the research centers Ganil (Grand Accélérateur National d’Ions Lourds) and CIMAP, have developed a range of micro accelerators (ionGUNTM), allowing an efficient and cost-effective use of the technology in any industrial domains. An ECR (electron cyclotron resonance) plasma source produces a multi charged ion beam of up to 10 mA which is accelerated at 35 keV towards the material surface to be treated. Various gases, pure or mixed, are used to enhance surface performances of metal, glasses, ceramics, and polymers. The ion depth penetration depends on the gas, surface material and temperature, initial beam energy and glancing angle. Ion implantation modifies the surface chemistry, the mechanical behavior, the crystallinity, the porosity and so on, leading to new surface performances and properties without added coatings.
Ion sources are implemented on existing low-pressure equipment or brand-new systems designed by the IONICS engineering team. Lab scale chambers and specific industrial production lines are available for demonstration.
In parallel, along with Materia Nova R&D center, IONICS have also developed innovative solutions and processes adapted to specific industrial requirements. Ion beam implantation parameters are optimized by experts in material science using semi-industrial systems. New equipment designed is tested. At IONICS, we recommend MATERIA NOVA as a partner of choice for research programs.