Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Cornell University researchers have designed a miniature ion accelerator that can scale to very high beam power and enables ultra-compact and low cost applications of charge particle beams for semiconductor manufacturing, homeland security screening, plasma heating, mass spectrometers, and more.
MEMS processes enable scalable, low cost component fabrication, permitting greater ion beam power generation for a target or for materials processing and enable production of ions or electrons in ultra-compact accelerator structures. The technology can operate with multiple beams and combines an ion source with ESQ focusing elements and high voltage gaps for acceleration.
By adding lattice accelerator unit cells in wafer stacks, high beam energies can be generated in a structure with a small length. The accelerator lattice is simulated and designed using charged particle focusing and acceleration codes. The wafers forming the accelerator structure are fabricated using PC board, MEMS processing (thin film deposition, etching, laser cutting, etc.), or additive manufacturing.