Highly Charged Ions (HCI)
Ions appear in nature predominantly as low charged ions, for example in the blaze of a candle. Naturally occurring highly charged ion (HCI) can be found in exotic states like in supernovae or in the core of stars. In the laboratories highly charged ions are produced using ion sources like Electron Beam Ion Sources, but also occur in artificially created fusion plasmas.
Highly charged ions are of fundamental interest in basic and applied research as for instance in:
- atomic physics
- nuclear physics
- fusion research
- materials research
- solid state physics
- radiation biology a.o.
Furthermore, highly charge ions have a high application potential in fields as:
- medicine (cancer therapy)
- surface analysis
- micro- and nanolithography
- accelerator techniques a.o.
The properties, production and beam formation of HCI's is summarized in the subsequent websites. The following animation illustrates one application of HCI's - the modification of solid surfaces.
Ion-Surface Interaction of Xe-ions
Animation of the interaction of slow Xe44+ ions with a solid surface