Ion Sources

Elecron Emitter
Home » Ionenquellen » Electron Emitter
BeamTec offers several types of KRIs low energy and high current electron sources. The source technologies vary from simple immersed thermionic filaments to non-immersed hollow cathode emitters. Typically, these electron sources can function as both a cathode and/or neutralizer in conjunction with a plasma or ion source. Their operation in inert and reactive gas environments is standard.  The emission current from our electron source products is measured and controlled with a current feedback loop. Because of this precise and reliable source of electrons, the KRI electron sources are successfully used in electrostatic sensitive applications and dielectric material environments.

Neutralization of ion beams

  • DC Gridded Ion Sources
  • End-Hall Ion Sources
  • Anode Layer Ion Sources

Ionization in plasma generation

  • End-Hall Ion Sources
  • DC Gridded Ion Sources

Charge neutrality in positive biased analytical instrumentation

Enhanced electron flux in magnetron sputtering

BeamTec offers a comprehensive electron source product package. The package is complete with components required to install and operate the electron source productsincluding the electron source, power supply controller, mass flow controller, vacuum feedthroughs, and cables.

Filament Sidewinder

SHC Small Hollow Cathode
MHC Medium Hollow Cathode
LHC Large Hollow Cathode
LDHC Disposable Hollow Cathode

LFN Low Frequency Neutralizer
(Plasma Bridge)

Typically, the KRI electron source products are installed in a materials processing environment. Commonly, they are integrated as neutralizers onto ion beam sources or they may be integrated into the ionization process of a plasma discharge. In other, more specialized applications, they can be installed with magnetron cathodes to modify the sputtering operation.

Regulated Emission

The applied power to the KRI electron sources is tightly regulated to ensure accurate electron production. Not only does the power supply generate the specified electron current, but through a feedback loop, it measures and regulates the electron emission. Because the electron emission is controlled, the KRI electron source products provide a reliable and known source of negative charge to the application. The amount of electrons is precisely controlled to match positive charges. A properly neutralized ion beam will be stable and support an electrically neutral process on the substrate surface. This feature is particularly important when the process involves dielectric, electrically isolated, or electrostatic sensitive substrates. When a process uses an ambiguous source of electron and does not rely on a regulated emission current, the process risks charge build-up and instabilities.


Because the KRI electron sources are available in a comprehensive product package, they can be retrofitted to ion source equipment which is already active in the field. A common example is the case when a user wants to upgrade to a non-immersed neutralizer from an ion source which is currently configured with an immersed filament. The ability to use the existing equipment and just add the appropriate electron source products offer s a cost effective upgrade.


The eH Sidewinder™ utilizes a patented technology to extend the filament lifetime over typical durations. This innovative operation offers the low cost filament configuration, yet provides longer operation before a filament change. The Sidewinder products shift the filament cathode / neutralizer from its typical center position to an off center position. Because the filament is no longer immersed in the high current density portion of the ion beam, its erosion by ion bombardment is reduced. By reducing the normal wear mechanism, the filament lifetime is significantly extended, which minimizes the risk of process interruption.

Soft Start

The electron source products use a soft start feature to ramp power to the cathode/neutralizer during start-up. This ramping characteristic smoothes the initial power surge which conserves the service time of replaceable heated elements.