Single Beam Plasma Source


Executive Summary


Plasma-based ion sources are used in a variety of modern manufacturing processes, such as thin film deposition, etching, and surface engineering. Conventional linear ion sources have a race-track geometry that leads to a wide beam angle, limiting the ability to tune the ion-source interactions. Further advances in these processes require robust ion sources with tunable power and directivity. Our singe beam plasma source produces either a small point ion beam or a long linear ion beam. The sources are very easy to maintain and can operate over a wide pressure range.


Description of Technology


The single beam plasma source has a magnetic field that is specifically designed to efficiently confine high energy electrons. A simple hollow anode design is easy to clean, little or no maintenance is required. The device can be configures in circular and linear structures to produce a single spot ion beam or a long linear ion beam. The device will work with any selection of gas and works over wide operating pressures compatible with sputtering. The directivity of the ion beam can be tuned through adjustment of the electrode geometry. It is compatible with processes requiring the use of reactive species, such as titanium nitride for tool hardening, and silicon dioxide for improving the heat radiation characteristics of aerospace materials. The ability to use lower operational voltages allows further versatility of application.


Key Benefits

  • Tunable beam directivity, supporting linear and spot beam processes
  • Supports operation over a wide range of pressures
  • Supports processes requiring use of reactive species, such as oxygen and nitrogen



  • Material Processing Applications (e.g. Sputtering)
  • Surface Engineering


Patent Status: 


Patent pending


Licensing Rights Available:


Limited rights available




Dr. Qi Hua Fan, Dr. Thomas Schuelke, Dr. Lars Haubold, Michael Petzold


Tech ID:




Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University