Ion beam surface treatment: A new capability for rapid melt and resolidification of surfaces

R. W. Stinnett, D. C. McIntyre, R. G. Buchheit, John B. Greenly, Michael O. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The emerging capability to produce high average power (5-250 kW) pulsed ion beams at 0.2-2 MeV energies is enabling us to develop a new, commercial-scale thermal surface treatment technology called Ion Beam Surface Treatment (IBEST). This new technique uses high energy, pulsed (≤100 ns) ion beams to directly deposit energy in the top 2-20 micrometers of the surface of any material. The depth of treatment is controllable by varying the ion energy and species. Deposition of the energy with short pulses in a thin surface layer allows melting of the layer with relatively small energies and allows rapid cooling of the melted layer by thermal diffusion into the underlying substrate. Typical cooling rates of this process (109-1010 K/sec) cause rapid resolidification, resulting in the production of non-equilibrium microstructures (nano-crystalline and metastable phases) that have significantly improved corrosion, wear, and hardness properties. We have conducted IBEST feasibility experiments with results confirming surface hardening, nanocrystaline grain formation, metal surface polishing, controlled melt of ceramic surfaces, and surface cleaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-618
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 1 1994
Event16th International Symposium on Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum 1994 - Moscow-St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: May 23 1994May 30 1994

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1994 SPIE. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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