Ion Beam Source Technology: Breaking Down the Advantages

The use of ion beams has transcended the deposition industry.

There are numerous advantages to using ion beam sputter deposition over plasma or evaporation methods. The amount of flexibility that ion beam technology offers to substrates makes this method a high performance choice.

Brief Introduction

Ion beam sputter deposition utilizes an ion beam as the plasma source. Inside this source lies a set of grids that allow for a bundle of ions to be extracted. Typically, a uniquely designed sputter coater is used to deposit the film.

The ion beam source is comprised of a discharge chamber, the multiple grids, and the neutralizer.


The discharge chamber is where the ions are generated. By subjecting a gas into the RF field, ions can then be formed and then extracted via the powered coil antennas surrounding it.

Free electrons roam around until they are energized to the point where they can break apart gas atoms into ions and electron. This phenomenon is a vital step in the deposition process because it then leads to the establishment of plasma.


The grid sets’ main responsibility is to accelerate the ions with a high rate of velocity. Their patterns are defined by holes and a number of apertures. These grid sets also determine the result that comes out of the deposition process.


Ion beam sputter deposition operates in a much lower pressure environment than magnetron sputtering allowing for a variety of qualities to come out of this method. Using ion beam sources, one can expect there to be: high surface quality, minimal scattering, excellent uniformity, and minimal optical losses. Additionally, ion beam sputter deposition can be used on a wide range of applications.


Denton Vacuum, LLC offers a wide range of systems for vacuum deposition for electron microscopy, precision optical electronics and ophthalmic applications. For ion beam etching applications, visit Denton Vacuum, LLC online to find the most efficient sputter coaters on the market.