Nitrogen Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation (PIII)

Nitrogen plasma immersion ion implantation is a useful tool e.g. for creating hard surfaces at low temperatures of stainless steel machine tools. Nitrogen ions will be implanted by short (< 10µs) high voltage impulses from a plasma generated by an ACC-Plasma Source. The substrate temperature is controlled by the ion power heating rate (see the following figure). At power rates of 1 Wcm-2 substrate temperatures of more than 250 C can be reached.

Ion beam current density required for three different substrate heating power rates in dependence from the ion energy

Two different ion energy ranges for PIII with ACC-Plasma Sources are possible:

High energy implantation (10 - 50 keV): Because of the high ion energy ion current densities of some tens of µAcm-2 have to be implanted at the chamber plasma surrounding the substrate at large areas up to 1 m2.


Low energy implantation (100 - 1000 eV): Now the substrate should be surrounded by several ACC-Plasma Sources to implant the substrate at the generated near field plasma with ion current densities of typical 0.3 mAcm-3.

High energy PIII at the ACC-chamber plasma


Low energy PIII at the near field plasma of several ACC-Plasma Sources

Electron beam evaporation requires vacuum chamber pressures below 10-4 mbar. On the other hand the plasma generation at the inner part of the ACC-Plasma Source is at 5x10-4 mbar and higher at its optimum. The figure right shows that with increasing vacuum chamber pumping speed (STurbo) the chamber pressure can be decreased down to 5x10-5 mbar at stable plasma generation.

Process pressure range (from min. pressure to max. pressure) for the plasma source ACC-80 PS in dependence of the pumping speed at the vacuum chamber.

O2+ - implantation for glass bonding         N2+ -implantation in stainless steel
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