Reuterweg 65 D-60323 Frankfurt/M Tel +49 (0)69-720040 Fax +49 (0)69-720400

IonEtch Sputter Gun

Sputter Ion Gun for sample cleaning

IonEtch Sputter Gun

Sputter Ion Gun 

The tectra IonEtch ion gun is a filamentless ion source based on a microwave plasma discharge. Like its big brother the Plasma Ion Source, the IonEtch works by coupling microwave energy into a coaxial waveguide and from there via evanescent wave coupling, into a plasma chamber. The intense oscillating electric fields cause the gas to breakdown and a plasma discharge to take place.  A quadrupole magnetic field around the chamber further enhances the plasma density via the Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) effect. Ions are extracted from the plasma using simple two or three grid single-hole extraction optics.

The use of microwaves to sustain the plasma allows ions to be extracted at very low energies without the plasma collapsing (down to 25eV) and since there are no hot metal electrodes in the plasma also permits the use of reactive gases such as oxygen and hydrogen.

The new GenII is the second generation of the IonEtch sputter gun with some significant improvements in performance and features. To name only some: higher total beam current, high efficiency direct microwave coupling without need of tuning, Alumina plasma cup now standard, only 4 screws to undo non-bakeable parts and more compact, space saving air side setup. Besides the standard version a high current version of the IonEtch sputter gun is available with up to 4mA ion current and 120A/cm at 100 mm working distance.

Typical application of the IonEtch is the sputter cleaning of surfaces with Argon bombardment.

pdf version of IonEtch sputter gun data sheet (72kB)

Applications of the IonEtch sputter gun:

  • Sputter cleaning / surface preparation in surface science, MBE and HV sputter processes
  • Ion assisted deposition
  • Ion beam sputter coating
  • Reactive ion etching

Key Features:
  • Filamentless Ion Source
Suitable for use with most gases including reactive gases such as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen etc.
  • No microwave tuning
Factory set. Simply turn the plasma on and off.
  • User configurable
The ion optics are designed to be quickly and easily exchanged allowing users to customise their source to suit a particular combination of sample size, working pressure and current density. Easily exchanged apertures enable beam diameter, gas load and current density to be optimised.
  • Cost effective
please ask for a quote

Integration of the robust microwave generator and the ion source, mean that no tuning of the source is required and there is no waveguide to construct or install. 

Due to the evanescent wave coupling, no electrodes are present in the plasma i.e. no filaments or other metal. Therefore the source is also suitable for use with reactive gases such as oxygen and hydrogen. The plasma is surrounded by Alumina (Al2O3) which is superior to other dielectric materials such as Boronnitride (BN) due to much higher generation of secondary electrons. A selection of grids and grid conductances allows the optimum balance between gas flow, working pressure and beam current to be achieved.

Ion Energy 25eV - 5keV
Total Beam Current 1mA (at 5kV with Argon)
High Current Version: up to 4mA (at 5kV with Argon) 
Current Density 120A/cm at 100mm working distance
Beam Divergence Ion energy dependant (typically 15)
Working Distance 100 mm (typically)
Plasma Cup Alumina (superior than other dielectric materials due to highest yield of secondary electrons)
Gas Inlet CF-16 (1.33“OD)
Gas Flow Rate 1 - 5 sccm (1,5 sccm typical, gas dependant)
Working Pressure 10-6mbar - 10-3mbar (1x10-5mbar typical in chamber with 300l/s pimp). Low 10-6 mbar range possible - beam current then 140A max.
Source Microwave Plasma Discharge (No Filament)
Mount CF-35 (2.75“OD)
Source Diameter 34mm (vacuum side)
Leak Valve Required or mass flow controller


Standard Package

The IonEtch Sputter Gun / Ion Source comes complete with microwave and ion extraction power supplies.

IonEtch Controller front panel


IonEtch Sputter Gun dimensions

In the interests of continuous product development, specifications are subject to change without notice.

Quick links to other major tectra products:

Electron Beam Evaporator - 4-pocket e-beam evaporator - Plasma Source - Atomic Hydrogen SourceSputter Gun - Mini-Coater Deposition System - Sputter-Coater

  contact : Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Gati
tectra GmbH
Reuterweg 65
D-60323 Frankfurt

phone: Germany (0)69-720040font>
fax: Germany (0)69-720400
  last update: 9.8.07

 tectra GmbH, the specialist for:microwave plasma sources, e-beam evaporators, sputter gun and atomic hydrogen source.