Ion implantation is a process in which there is an acceleration of the ions of a material in an electrical field and then they are impacted into a solid. This is done by changing the physical, chemical and electrical properties of a solid.
Ions help in altering or changing the fundamental composition of the target, stopping in target while staying there. Ions can transfer their energy along with their momentum to the electrons and the nucleus of the atom of the targeted material and cause various chemical and physical changes in the material. It leads to a change in structure.
Since the mass of an ion is similar to that of the targeted atoms, they tend to remove the targeted atoms from their places. Their intensity is more than that of the electron beams.
APPLICATIONS OF ION IMPLANTATION
- Ion implantation is used in metal finishing and semiconductor device fabrication.
- It is also used in different applications of the research in the materials science.
- Ion implantation is used for introducing the dopants in a semiconductor.
- In the 1970s, the development of ion implantation took place for producing the p-n junction of the photovoltaic devices.
- In the 1980s, it started being used for the rapid annealing in the pulsed-electron beam. This hasn’t been used for any commercial purposes so far.
- Ion implantation is a good method for toughening up the tools of steel. Nitrogen ions can be implanted on the tool steel targets like the drills which can produce a surface compression in steel, prevent it from cracks and make it more fracture resistant. It also helps in making the material corrosion resistant.
- Ion implantation is also used for mixing of atoms of different elements at an interface. It is used for achieving the ion beam mixing. This helps in making the adhesion stronger between the layers of the materials.
- When the ion energy is high enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier, it can result in a small amount of nuclear transmutation in a low-temperature
PROBLEMS WITH THE ION IMPLANTATION
- It can lead to crystallographic damage. The ions can result in creating point defects on the target crystal which can later result in dislocation loops along with other defects.
- Ion implantation can damage the crystal structure of the target. That is why the process of ion implantation is followed up by thermal annealing as a damage recovery source.
- Ion implantations can amorphize the surface of the target.