Custom beam solutions

We see our ECR plasma cavities as little building blocks that can serve as individual plasma sources, ion sources, electron sources, or atom sources, but that can also be grouped together to create plasma sheets or ion beams of basically any size and shape. Whether you need a beam to be small or large, and linear, circular, or more exotic, we have a technology capable of generating the beam or beams of your choice. We look forward to helping you realize your project and expanding our portfolio.

Ion source, electron source, plasma source, atom source

Our ECR plasma cavities can be configured to operate as ion source, electron source, plasma source, or atom source. This is a matter of adapting the extraction optics, changing the bias, and/or in the case of an atom source, adding deflectors to capture the charged particles. The extraction can be by grids or by aperture electrodes.

The pressure inside the plasma cavity must be large enough to maintain the plasma and is elevated with respect to the chamber pressure. The chamber pressure during source operation will depend on the system: base pressure and pumping capacity, and the source parameters: the gas inlet and the size of the extraction hole(s).

For single cavity sources the minimum flange size has an inner tube diameter of 35mm and the source head can be supported by the flange, or mounted anywhere you want inside your system with only flexible cables to the flange. Both High Vacuum as well as Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) compatible sources are possible.

TES sources are based on our smallest cavity, and can be configured for different beam types and shapes. Take look at our larger IE-gun if you are interested in high energy applications, or contact us for other possibilities.


ECR stability and reliability

plus hassle-free plasma ignition

no hot filaments

thus low in maintenance and reactive gases possible

extraction optics adapted to your application

adapted in energy/current and beam shaping

flexible source mounting

directly on the flange, or wherever you want with flexible cables only
Photo of 100mA electron beam generated by single cavity ECR source
Photo of open ECR plasma cavity with plasma on
Photo of 100mA electron beam generated by single cavity ECR source
Photo of ion beam generated by single cavity ECR source

Large beams from multiple cavities

By grouping multiple of our ECR plasma cavities together, we can make beams of basically any size, and also beams with a shape other than circular, like linear or rectangular. Unique for such multi cavity solutions is that the internal current distribution of the beam can be controlled. This is because each cavity has its own power supply for the microwave. Such large beams are typically used for ion assisted deposition, sputter cleaning, nanostructuring and ion implantation at industrial scale.

Beams based on twenty cavities are already reality (industrial prototype; linear beam), and we have recently developed the broad beam source HEXAR-7 (circular beam). For the moment we consider sources with several tens of cavities as feasible. This brings us up to the meter range in terms of beam size. Contact us if this is of interest to you.


Linear beams

for ion implantation, sputtering, cleaning or ion assistance for rectangular surfaces

Meter sized beams

for large-area surface processing

controlled current density distribtion

For beam efficient uniform surface processing
Design of ECR source for Ø90mm beam, mounted on a Ø320mm flange
Photo of linear ion beam of 150x500 mm, seen from the 150 mm side

Multiple individual beams in one vacuum system

The small size of the plasma cavities enables the possibility to place multiple of them rather freely inside a vacuum system. This opens possibilities for example for 3D surface processing, with multiple beams under different angles. It also enables batch processing of multiple samples at the time without beam overspill, and has enabled the development of a new thin film deposition method based on multi beam sputtering.



3D surface processing

spatially separated beams at different angles with the sample

batch processing of multiple samples at the time

without beam overspill

multi beam sputter deposition

uniform multicomponent deposition using spatially separated individually controlled beams

Beam solutions for different thin film deposition geometries

Where a geometry with a circular array of sources is adapted to circular samples (conical target base), a linear geometry with a line (or multiple lines) of sources and a rectangular sputter target is more suitable for rectangular samples and roll-to-roll applications. Another possibility is top-bottom deposition using two opposing linear sputter deposition modules (beam plus target) which can be useful for coating both sides at once. A special case is thin film deposition on the interior of tubes. With our technology we can coat the tubes from the inside, simply by adapting beam and target to the tube diameter. Ask us for the possibilities.

Illustrations of four deposition geometries possible with our compact ECR technology: tube interiors, roll-to-roll coating, thin films on circular substrates, and two-side deposition on wires

circular samples, one side

circular beam array plus conical target base

rectangular samples, one side

linear sputter deposition module (plus sample movement if necessary)

two side deposition

two linear sputter deposition modules (top & bottom)

tube interior deposition

circular or annular beam plus flat or conical target adapted to tube size


The concept of little building bricks makes our technology very suitable to retrofitting existing systems. It is for example possible to replace the interior of a Bernas (Freeman) type ion source for ion implantation by an ECR ion source of exactly the same geometry. It is also possible to replace a magnetron sputter module by a multi beam sputter module of the same dimensions, or on for example a carrousel type system, to replace a magnetron module by an ion beam module for assistance, sputter cleaning, nanostructuring, or implantation. Contact us to find out if we can refurbish or upgrade your system to your liking.


replacement of other type ion sources


replacement of magnetron sputter modules

Technical drawing of Bernas (Freeman) type ion source for implantation, retrofitted with 3 ECR plasma cavities
Photo of ion beam (generated from air) from a 4x20mm slit
Photo of a source for ion implantation on a Ø160mm flange, exact envelope and extraction slit of a Bernas source, but based on 3 ECR plasma cavities instead of a filament
Design example of a retrofitted and upgraded magnetron system with 1 magnetron module, 2 ion beam deposition modules using magnetron targets, and one ion beam module for assistance, sputter cleaning, or implantation
Design example of retrofit of 170x400mm magnetron module with ion beam module