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Vacuum Or Vacuum-Less: Which Spin Coater To Use?

There has been a long old tradition of using vacuum systems to hold the substrates while using Spin Coaters. Nonetheless researchers prefer the vacuum less solution too considering the limitations of the vacuum option. This has made the researchers put a check on the shape and size of the substrates while using the vacuum-less Spin Coaters.

 

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Navson Vacuum-less Spin Coaters

 

Vacuum-Less Spin Coaters…

 

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using Vacuum-Less options?

 

Advantages

Can achieve RPM greater than 12000

Prevents the formation of central deformation

Standalone device without the use of any supporting device

Glove Box friendly

Instant startup and run. No setup time.

Disadvantages

Difficult to accommodate irregular substrates

Possibility of splash back

 

Few of the researchers working on thin films use flexible substrates. When Spin Coating these substrates on a vacuum-based spin coater, they often observe that there exists a central depression which causes the solution to flow down and concentrate in the middle. This makes the coating lose its uniformity.

The advantage of making the instrument a standalone device a attracted many experimentalists because it is easy to install the equipment in either a vacuum chamber or a fume hood with no other moving parts except the instrument itself. Though there have been developments to use the oil-free vacuum pumps to avoid contamination of the fume-hood/vacuum chamber, it is advised to use the vacuum-free model.

 

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Navson Vacuum-less Spin Coaters

 

In general, when researchers think about using the vacuum-less model, the first thing that comes to their mind is the irregular shapes and sizes of the substrates. This comes from the fact that some substrates are sold as standard sized wafers which are costly. It is economical and financially efficient to break them down to smaller pieces for experiments. This being the case, if the substrates are broken down in a roughly same manner each time, it can still be accommodated on a groove type chuck.

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Spin Coater for TiO2 and ZrO2 Thin Films

As scientific lab equipment manufacturers in india, Navson Technologies supplies to leading educational institutions, research laboratories and in general to the research industry. Here is a feedback from a user of spin coaters working on TiO2 and ZrO2 Thin Films.

 

Spin coating is one of the easiest and most affordable gateways into nanoscience and nanotechnology – A PhD Candidate from India

 

My first experience with spin coaters was in 2009 when, as an undergraduate summer intern, I was assigned to prepare TiO2 and ZrO2 thin films. It was a fascinating experience which opened the gates for my research career.

 

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Navson Technologies Spin Coater

 

I was excited to see a sol-gel drop, containing the TiO2 and ZrO2 precursors, transform into a 100-200 nm thin films of TiO2 and ZrO2.

 

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Researcher at work

 

Lab Equipment For Anti-reflection Coatings

 

As an undergraduate researcher, it was very interesting to know that these were the type of thin film coatings that were used as anti-reflection coatings in sunglasses and other devices such as solar cells and had this peculiar self-cleaning property; which is now used in tall glass buildings that self-clean itself on exposure to UV rays in the sunlight.

 

Spin Coating for Nanofabrication Applications

 

The spin coating technique being one of the easiest nanofabrication techniques intrigued my interest in nanotechnology and further boost my research thirst at an undergraduate level.

The spin coating technique is simple, cost-effective and efficient enough in their own rights to be a standalone nanofabrication technique.

Additionally, it also tastes the favor of being coupled with highly sophisticated techniques such as electron beam lithography and photolithography.