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 What is a Kaufman ion source?

The Kaufman type Ion Source is typically considered to be a gridded broad beam ion source of permanent magnet design, with thermionic cathode filament to provide a source of electrons to support a magnetically confined plasma discharge.

Typically, the working gas would be argon, and a two or three grid optic system being used to extract the ion beam. An additional source of electrons, usually being required for ion beam neutralisation, is provided by tungsten filament, hollow cathode electron source, or plasma bridge neutraliser.

Permanent magnet ion sources of this type have been produced in a range of sizes with a variety of grid optics producing ion beams from 1cm to 38cm diameter, with a beam half angle of approximately 12°. Typically operating over an ion energy range of 100eV to 1.5 keV with beam currents of up to several hundred mA, they have proved to be an invaluable tool for ion beam milling applications, although tending to be a little more limited for ion beam assisted thin film deposition processes due to the high current, low energy ion beam requirements of the latter.

Most Ion assist applications also tend to need a large area of ion beam impingement at the substrate. Physical space limitations and geometry of the deposition system, dictate that the ion source must be dimensionally compact, hence the increase in popularity of the End-Hall Gridless Ion Source.

 View our range of Kaufman ion sources