A series of preliminary experiments have been carried out to obtain a metallic arc discharge, in the form of an annular cylindrical column, carrying a current in the axial direction. To assert this geometry, a ring-shaped cathode is adopted and an arc formation is triggered by heating the cathode externally. The plasma, initially in the form of a cylindrical shell, is seen to be confined and pinched by its own magnetic field. The resulting, radially inward flux is observed to produce efficient and multidirectional implantation on targets placed near the axis, even without biasing. (C) 1999 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(99)02204-5].