Ion Beam Treatment

inside-tandemIon beam treatment uses either protons or helium ions. A unique feature of processing with this technology is the ability to selectively target a very small area.

Our ion beam facility at Harwell (UK) differs from all other STERIS Applied Sterilization Technologies (AST) processing technologies because it is not used for sterilization. The ion beam is used as a technique that addresses a host of requirements across many different sectors:

  • Simulation of the naturally-occurring space radiation environment, especially the component dominated by solar protons and affecting the external surfaces of a satellite
  • Semiconductor processing for carrier lifetime control
  • The production of trace levels of radioactivity in engineering components for thin layer activation and real-time wear measurement
  • Materials analysis

The ion beam’s 5MV Tandem accelerator is a flexible system that can produce many different ion species, but is particularly well suited to light ions, such as protons, deuterons and helium ions (alpha particles). An advantageous feature of the ion beam is the ability to change energy rapidly, typically in a few seconds, for dealing with shipments of mixed products.

For semiconductor processing using the ion beam, STERIS AST utilizes our ISO class 7 cleanroom into which two beam lines run, allowing wafers to be handled, irradiated and repacked in a controlled environment.


As a global leading sterilization and decontamination specialist, STERIS AST has over 40 years experience in providing safe and effective processing for specialist industrial application.

View our global locations to find out more about our Ion Beam processing services