Plasma-based method for treatment of metal surfaces. In ion plating, the substrate surface is first cleaned by means on ion bombardment in the plasma, gereinigt. Metal vapour is then fed from an evaporator source, which is partially ionized in the plasma and accelerated onto the surface of the preheated substrate by a negative bias. In this way, a layer of the vaporized metal grows on the substrate, while part of the substrate or layer is repeatedly removed (sputtered off) by the ion bombardment. The structure of the resulting layer depends to a large extent on the temperature of the substrate.