Applied research with highly charged ions

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Research area Applications of atomic and solid state physics, surface science and analysis
Participants in the research work

The ECR ion source of Atomki routinely produces and delivers highly-charged ion beams, not only for atomic physics research, but for applications.


Functionalizing the surfaces of solids by altering their structure and composition provides the key to a wide range of versatile applications of materials, from electronics to chemistry and medicine. The ion beam of the ECR ion source is used for the creation of nano-structured surfaces of light-sensitive and biocompatible materials useful in optics, plasmonics or dentistry. The investigations involve the production of the plasma and ion and molecular beams, and control of their interaction with the selected materials to form new surfaces or layers. Solid materials are functionalized via their composition and structure at the atomic (nano- and microscopic) scale, in respect of irradiation, stimulated structural transformations and/or biocompatibility. Recently, several heavy ions (e.g., Ag, Au, Ca, Ce, C, Si, C60) with different charge states and energies became our main interest as species interacting with surfaces. The substrates, in most cases, are chalcogenides, titanium oxides or, more recently, zirconium ceramics. The work focuses on the physical parameters of these materials after irradiation, such as surface morphology, nano-structuring, plasmonic effects, etc. The biological activity of the treated surfaces is also a challenging task to be investigated, especially in case of dentistry materials.