Ion Implantation

Definition - What does Ion Implantation mean?

Ion implantation is a material engineering process by which ions of a material are accelerated in an electrical field and impacted into another solid material. This process can improve a material's properties, including hardness and wear resistance, resistance to chemical attack and reduced friction.

Ion implantation is similar to a coating process, but it does not involve the addition of a layer on the surface. It is most commonly used in semiconductor device fabrication and the metal finishing industry.

This process is also called dosing.

Corrosionpedia explains Ion Implantation

Ion implantation equipment typically requires an ion source, where ions of the desired element are produced, an accelerator, where the ions are electrostatically accelerated to a high energy (accelerating ions to speeds of around 103 m/s), and a target chamber, where the ions impinge on a target, which is the material to be implanted. Thus, ion implantation is a special case of particle radiation. While the process does not require the workpiece to be heated directly, most ion beam processes operate at between 300° to 400°F (150°C and 200°C).

The typical depth of ion penetration is a fraction of a micron. To restore this surface region back to a well-ordered crystalline state and to allow the implanted ions to go into substitution sites in the crystal structure, the target metal must be subjected to an annealing process, which usually involves the heating of the target metal to an elevated temperature for a suitable length of time.

An obvious advantage of implantation is that it can be done at relatively low temperatures, meaning that doped layers can be implanted without disturbing previously diffused regions. This reduces the risk of lateral spreading.

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