TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 912/2008
By T Atkinson
Electron beam (EB) processing has evolved over the past 50 years enabling it now to be deployed in a wide range of applications. However, one range of power and intensity has not been exploited, and special equipment has been designed at TWI to allow melting, evaporation or sublimation at scales from 1 to 100µm. This equipment is termed high brightness electron beam and is a new variant of EB equipment, allowing material to be directly processed by the beam at smaller dimensions than previously realised.
The work reported has concentrated on developing high brightness EB equipment capable of producing less than 10µm beam diameters with intensities of greater than 1.5MWmm-2 at focus. The design of equipment for processing with beams of this power and diameter has required some specialised developments described in separate reports (Sanderson, 2004; Ribton, 2006; Ribton and Atkinson, 2007). This work has been concerned with further refinement of equipment, applying the process and demonstrating unique capabilities.
The objectives of this work were to:
- Generate a high brightness beam, with a focused spot size of less than 10µm, operating at an accelerating potential of 60kV.
- Further develop equipment for fine-scale processing in a range of applications.
- Develop process control techniques.