In Ion Beam Mixing new surface alloys are produced by a combination of vacuum deposition and ion irradiation. One may wonder what the advantages are of this combination. Indeed one may ask:
- Why not just ion implantation?
- Why ion beams instead of laser or electron beams?
- Why ion mixing instead of evaporation only?
- What phases are formed and what is the stability of ion mixed phases?
In an attempt to answer these questions the role of ion beam mixing in modern materials modification will de delineated. Areas of controversy and further development will also be illustrated.