Ion source development and applications

back to the overview

Two metre long linear ECR ion source for low-energy ion implantation, for example, for nitriding austenitic stainless steel.
Arrangement of the diagnostic tools on the in-situ diagnostic platform for electric propulsion ion thrusters.
Simulation of the ion beam extraction through a two-grid system. The erosion of the accelerator grid (right) due to charge exchange ions is clearly visible.

Ion beam sources, components and diagnostics

The development of ion sources and diagnostic tools for terrestrial (broad beam ion source) and extraterrestrial (electric propulsion) applications is a key competency of IOM. Besides lifetime improvement and adaption of ion sources for specific technological needs, components are engineered that are not commercially available, for example, RF power supplies, grid systems for ion extraction and neutralizers. Furthermore, diagnostic tools for the in-situ characterisation of ion beams and dynamic plasma sheaths are developed and tested. In part those are employed on a portable, modular in-situ diagnostic platform for electric propulsion ion thrusters. In addition, tools for the dynamic simulation of the grid erosion are developed that allow the lifetime prediction of gridded ion sources / thrusters.

  • Development and adaption of ion beam sources to technological needs (Kaufman, RF, ECR, circular, linear)
  • Development of ion beam source components, e.g. neutralizers
  • Development of in-situ ion beam and plasma diagnostic tools (FC, RPA, thermal imaging, laser profilometry, laser induced fluorescence, …)
  • Modular in-situ diagnostic platform for electric propulsion ion thrusters
  • Development of simulation tools for lifetime prediction of gridded ion beam sources / thrusters


Selected publications

  • H. Neumann, M. Tartz, F. Scholze, T. Chassé, H. Kersten, H. Leiter
    Broad beam ion sources for electrostatic space propulsion and surface modification processes: From roots to present applications
    Contrib. Plasma Phys. 47 (7) (2007) 487

  • F. Scholze, C. Eichhorn, C. Bundesmann, D. Spemann, H. Neumann, A. Bulit, D. Feili, J. Gonzalez del Amo
    Modelling of a radio frequency plasma bridge neutralizer (RFPBN)
    Proc. Eng. 185 (2017) 9

  • C. Bundesmann, C. Eichhorn, F. Scholze, D. Spemann, H. Neumann, D. Pagano, S. Scaranzin, F. Scortecci, H. J. Leiter, S. Gauter, R. Wiese, H. Kersten, K. Holste, P. Köhler, P. J. Klar, S. Mazouffre, R. Blott, A. Bulit, K. Dannenmayer
    An advanced electric propulsion diagnostic (AEPD) platform for in-situ characterization of electric propulsion thrusters and ion beam sources
    Eur. Phys. J. D 70 (2016) 212

  • M. Tartz, E. Hartmann, H. Neumann
    Validated simulation of the ion extraction grid lifetime
    Rev. Sci. Instrum. 79 (2008) 02B905