Abstract Silver films, evaporated on glass substrates, have been implanted with 100 keV argon ions at different current densities. The modifications induced on the coatings were observed as a function of the power input in order to evaluate the temperature reached by the specimens during the implant. A theoretical model calculation for the heating problem during ion implantation was performed. Two situations, good and poor thermal contact between film and substrate, were considered. Theoretical results bracket the experimental ones.