Ion Beam Sputtering Coating (IBS) uses an ion source to deposit or sputter a thin film onto your targeted material to create a dielectric film. Since an ion beam is mono-energetic and collimated, it creates a very precise control over the thickness of the film. Since an ion beam is mono-energetic and collimated, it creates very precise control over the thickness of the film.

A typical configuration of IBS systems includes the substrate, a target, and a gridded ion source, with the ion beam being focused on a target material, and a nearby substrate being the sputtered target material.

What Is Ion Beam Deposition?

IBS, otherwise known as ion beam deposition, is a process that deposits a thin film of dielectric or metallic material onto a substrate while allowing for extremely fine control over the coating thickness. During this process, an ion beam or source deposits, or sputters, material from a supply onto the workpiece in a dense, consistent pattern.

Ion beam deposition processes are uniquely advantageous because operators can control everything from the sputtering rate to the ionic energy and density. This allows for complete control of the microstructure and film stoichiometry of the deposited layer. For applications that demand precision, such as with semiconductors, IBS outperforms alternative sputtering processes like physical vapor deposition.

What Is Assisted Ion Beam Deposition?

Assisted ion beam deposition uses two simultaneous processes — IBS and ion implementation — to create an intermixed coating. This process allows for a fine degree of control and can form gradually thickening or thinning transitions between the film layer and the underlying substrate’s original surface layer. Assisted ion beam deposition also gives the deposited film a much stronger bond.

The Main Advantage of Ion Beam Sputtering Coatings

One of the advantages of IBS is the control you get over several parameters. These include ion current density, ion energy, and the angle of incidence to help with the control of film microstructure. This is the main advantage and difference of sputtering processes, which makes IBS a great choice for any challenging applications you may have.

Additional Benefits of IBS Coatings

IBS coatings are known for providing precision control and high-density deposition layers. Other benefits of this coating method include:

  • High Energy Bonding. The IBS process provides enough kinetic energy to create a durable bond between the substrate’s surface and the coating.
  • Uniformity. Sputtering is typically emitted from a larger target surface area, ensuring a more uniform application when compared to vacuum coating and other alternative methods.
  • Versatility. IBS can provide a coating for nearly any material, even those with high melting points. This makes it an excellent choice for projects that require very particular coating properties.

Ion Beam Sputtering Coatings From Evaporated Coatings

At Evaporated Coatings, Inc., we specialize in providing high-quality optical coatings, AR coatings, depositions, and more. We work with each of our clients to select the right coating process based on each project’s budget, unique requirements, and intended applications. Contact us today to learn more about our design, preparation, and coating services, or visit this page to learn more about our IBS services.