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Ion Sputtering and its Uses

Ion beam assisted deposition allows manufacturers to create designs that were once thought to be theoretical. Using a beam of energy fired from an ion gun, which contains ions that have been sped up by an electrical field, ions come into contact with the target material and transfer kinetic energy to it. This transfer causes several collisions to occur that sputter material onto the target.

The collision sends molecules on a random path toward the substrate (the target material). This results in a deposition process that is low energy, and one that produces the hard and dense film growth the manufacturer desires.

Ebeam technology uses a similar process, but the system uses an electron beam instead of an ion beam. This process decomposes the gaseous particles can deposit non-volatile particles on a substrate as well. Electron beams also have the possibility of producing a free-standing product that is three dimensional, like 3D printing with electrons.

Ion beam deposition yields the highest quality product. The result has less loss than other procedures, and the optical coatings are shift-free. Maintenance is required to keep the machine in operational capacity, but ion sputtering is perfect for small surfaces.

Ion beam deposition is used in narrowband filter development. These devices are used in electronics to process frequencies within a certain range. Ion beam sputtering also has applications in biomedical devices and defense. It can be useful for coating a device that will go into the patient’s body, or it can be used on components for radio and radar devices.

Bio: For optical coating systems used in sputter deposition processes, visit Denton Vacuum, LLC online.