Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Ion Beam Deposition (IBD)

Ion Beam Deposition is a versatile and flexible thin film deposition technique that offers reliable, high quality and high performance coatings, finding applications notably in infrared devices and high power lasers, for both R&D and the Production market.

The Ionfab®, our ion beam system, is designed specifically to produce high-quality, high-density thin films with smooth surfaces and precisely-controlled thicknesses. System specifications allows independent control of beam energy and ion current density, enabling well-controlled and repeatable deposition process results.


Ion Beam Deposition Diagram with Ar

Key Benefits

  • Precise deposited thickness and fine control of film properties
  • Un-matched batch uniformity and process repeatability
  • Low operating pressure for higher mean free path and less gas scattering reduces porosity and included gas in deposited films
  • Film are denser with higher film purity and better control of stoichiometry
  • Substrate temperature can be controlled between 15°C and 300°C during deposition
  • Pre-clean capability for improved film adhesion
  • Ultra-smooth coating with low scattering, added film surface roughness ~Angstrom scale
  • Etch/pre-clean sources allows illumination of substrate during deposition for assist beam/plasma control of film properties (e.g. reactive deposition)
  • Relative angling of target/substrate and optional oscillation of these allows precise tuning of deposition profiles and properties that’s etch not dep
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Ion deposition source  150mm
Deposited area Up to 200mm
Number of targets Up to 4 targets
Platen size  Up to 8 inch wafer
End product detection  Dual Xtal monitors or WLOM
Platen rotation Up to 500rpm
Platen tilt angle  0º to 75º between beam and normal to substrate surface
Platen heat Embedded heaters up to 300ºC
Platen cooling Fluid coolant 5ºC to 60ºC with He or Ar backside gas for substrate cooling (up to 50Torr) 
Assist or pre-clean source 150mm and 300mm RF ion source

How does IBD work?

A beam of energetic ions bombards and sputters material from a target, thereby forming a plume of material that gets deposited onto the surface of the sample. Ion beam deposited thin films layer properties, such as refractive index, absorption, scattering, adhesion and packing density, can be finely tuned by varying beam parameters such as beam flux and energy, platen orientation relative to incoming materials and gas flow.

Ion Beam Deposition (IBD) is one of three ways of depositing thin-film using Ion Beam Sputtering: IBD, RIBD and IBAD.


  • Deposition ion source: 15cm, 13.56 MHz driven
  • Gas inlet through source
  • Multiple targets, up to four, with shutter
  • Three grid set, molybdenum, to maximize deposition rate and film purity
  • Rotating and tiltable substrate holder with high-speed rotation (up to 500rpm) as an option (standard 20rpm)
  • In-situ monitoring of specific gas partial pressure and closed-loop feedback control capability for enhanced repeatability and fine control of thin film properties (e.g. VOx)
  • Patented high speed substrate holder (up to 500RPM) equipped with a White Light Optical Monitor (WLOM) designed for very accurate in-situ optical film control, notably for high-power laser devices


  • Laser facet coating (including high and anti-reflection)
  • Ring laser gyroscope mirrors
  • X-ray optics
  • II-VI-based infrared (IR) sensors
  • IR sensors (Vanadium oxide, II-VI)
  • Telecom filters
  • Metal track deposition: Au, Cr, Ti, Pt, ZnS etc
  • Magnetic materials: Fe, Co, Ni etc
32-layer GRIN lens with Ion Beam Deposition

32-layer GRIN lens with IBD

7 layers of a GRIN structure with Ion Beam Deposition

7 layers of a GRIN structure with IBD

Ionfab Ion Beam System

Ionfab is our flexible ion beam etch and deposition system designed for research, pilot and full-scale production. The system provides two options of chambers; standard and large, enabling IBD process on wafers up to 200mm.

  • Application-specific configuration optimization allows production of high-quality thin films with ultra-low contamination
  • Provides excellent uniformity and reproducibility
  • Very accurate in-situ optical film control (In-situ WLOM, high-speed option)
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Ionfab Ion Beam System