Ion beam modification of noble metal electrical contact coatings can achieve suitable friction and wear behavior with inherently stable low ECR. For example, this method of producing Au electrical contact coatings can produce wear properties similar to electroplated hard Au, but without the environmental concerns due to stringent OSHA regulations on the use and disposal of toxic chemicals associated with Au electroplating baths. Integration of physical vapor deposition techniques with ion implantation can produce noble metal coatings with surfaces modified to achieve the desired balance between adhesion/friction/wear and electrical contact resistance on a commercial scale.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.