"Ion plating is a physical vapor deposition technique to form metal coatings on metals and alloys.
The specimen to be coated is placed in an inert gas (often argon), together with some coating material. Next, a certain heating temperature and a low-voltage arc is applied to evaporate the metallic component of the coating material. The ionized particles are accelerated to a high energy, and the coating is formed due to the bombardment of these accelerated particles, reaching the specimen to be coated.
The biggest difference between ion plating and sputter deposition is the way of creating the ionized particles. Instead of evaporation by a low-voltage arc, in sputtering the metal ions are removed from a metal plate by bombardment with argon ions