We demonstrated the capability of MeV proton irradiation to promote chemical ordering processes in a solid at low temperature. We used the ilmenite-hematite solid solution system which allows estimation of the degree of ordering through measurement of its magnetization. Normally, ordering through diffusion would require high temperature annealing. At high temperatures, however, the equilibrium state would be less ordered and thus the achievable ordering incomplete. High energetic protons continuously transfer energy to the sample through electronic interaction which locally deposits large quantities of energy without a general increase of the sample temperature. This promotes diffusion processes which allow the system to relax towards the ordered equilibrium state. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.