Ion Implantation Technology

Ion Implantation

Ion implantation is a highly controllable approach for modifying physical and chemical surface properties of materials. Many surface properties can be improved with ion implantation including hardness and wear resistance, resistance to chemical attack, and reduced friction. The process can be applied to virtually any material, including most metals, ceramics and polymers. Ion implantation offers numerous advantages for treating component surfaces. A primary benefit is the ability to selectively modify the surface without detrimentally affecting bulk properties, largely because the process is carried out at low substrate temperatures. The process is also extremely controllable and reproducible and can be tailored to modify different surfaces in desired ways. Although it is a line-of-sight process, specialized fixturing can be used to uniformly treat complex geometries.

Examples of components treated with ion implantation are Ti and Co-Cr orthopedic prostheses, which are made harder and more wear resistant with the process (IonGuard®), and silicone rubber catheters, which are made less tacky and more wettable for improved insertion and biological compatibility (Spi-Polymer™).

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