Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Rudiger Schlaf, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthias Batzill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nathan Crane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jing Wang, Ph.D.


Ion Funnel, SIMION, Flexible PCB, Fused Deposition Modeling, Electroplating


This study focuses on novel approaches to the modeling and construction of devices used in ion beam and vacuum systems. Turbulent computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed to model the air flow into an ion funnel system. The results of these simulations were coupled one-way with electrodynamics simulations of the fields generated by the ion funnel. Using the turbulence kinetic energy (k), a spatially varying estimation of the fluctuating component of the velocity field was calculated. These resulting simulations more accurately predicted the ion transmission through the system. Using fused deposition modeling (FDM) novel construction methods for the ion funnel and the vacuum chamber components the ion funnel system utilizes were developed. An FDM fabricated frame, in the shape of the ion funnel, was quickly and inexpensively produced. This frame supported a flexible printed circuit board that served as both the lenses of the ion funnel and power distribution circuit. The transmission of ions was as good as the traditionally constructed ion funnel. The device cost and weighed less and had lower intrinsic impedance, requiring less power to be driven. FDM was also used to produce vacuum components by post-processing using electroplating. Initial tests to determine whether electroplating would adequately produce a hermetic seal for vacuum components were performed. It was observed that thinner plated components could not withstand the stresses required from the gaskets and flanges to adequately seal, subsequently cracking. Thicker samples adequately sealed against atmosphere and maintained this seal over the entire test period. A proof of concept KF-25 full nipple was produced and processed using electroplating. The device was able to reach and ultimate pressure of 1 x 10-6 Torr, however, it was not able to reach the ultimate pressure of the chamber, which was 5 x 10-7 Torr due to the inability to be adequately cleaned of contaminant water.