Ion Implantation on large surfaces for industrial upscaling stages and small productions

The creation of this large-area ion implantation machine was carried out as part of the WALIBEAM initiative, and is supported by Wallonia and Europe via FEDER funds. In May 2019, the Walibeam pilots were presented to Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt who was pleased to see Wallonia positioning itself as a world leader in these cutting-edge technologies.

The IonPRO is part of this unique platform in the world in ion implantation, and is now available for rental for the treatment of large surfaces. This new semi-industrial ion implanter was developed by AGC and Ionics, Graux and Materia Nova, whose objective is to develop new surface treatments.

The IonPRO uses electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) ion sources. It offers five Hardion ion guns arranged in a line, with motorized XY conveyor, ensuring the efficiency and homogeneity of the ion implantation treatment. The airlock is composed of two loading plates allowing fluid semi-continuous treatment in the treatment chamber with a maximum speed of 150 mm/s.

The treated surface reaches a dimension of 1,600 mm x 1,800 mm.

Well suited to industrial upscaling stages and small productions, the system is now operational.

AGC has focused on surface alteration of ceramic materials, such as float glass and sapphire. Ion implantation improves the scratch resistance of ceramics. Alternatively, a refractive index gradient is created by cavities implanted in the glass surface resulting in anti-reflective surfaces with no parasitic absorption in the UV nor IR spectrum and with remarkable angular stability.

Main advantages of the process:

  • Low temperature surface treatment: all materials can be treated, even the most insulating and temperature sensitive, without changing their mass properties.
  • No coating: the surface of the material itself is improved
  • Environmentally friendly dry process