Researchers in Prof. Mark Cappelli\'s laboratory at Stanford have developed an efficient compact simple electromagnetic particle accelerator that accelerates plasma to very high velocities. This is achieved by electromagnetically accelerating a space-charge neutral plasma instead of electric acceleration of a pure ion gas. This results in much higher particle densities (orders of magnitude higher than with pure ion accelerators) and lower required power supply voltages. In addition the device is simpler as the need to prevent electric breakdown between the electrodes is eliminated no separate ion source and ion extraction mechanism are needed and it is not necessary to actively neutralize the particle beam or target. This platform technology has a variety of applications including ion implantation in integrated circuit or solar cell manufacturing and surface treatment processing. Ongoing Research: The inventors are continuing to optimize the device and measure ion energy distribution.
(1) Compact - current accelerators are large and complex taking up expensive clean room space; this smaller device can offer significant cost savings. (2) High particle density (orders of magnitude higher than those in pure ion accelerators).