This article explores automated dispense options for spin coating applications in the semiconductor industry including cartridge dispense, pressure can dispense, and disposable syringe dispense. The article also touches on dispense controls, edge bead removal, and backside rinse, while highlighting the benefits of the Cee® line-up of Apogee® Spin Coaters.
Automated Dispense Systems
Spin coating is a crucial technique in semiconductor manufacturing and thin film deposition, creating uniform films by applying a liquid solution onto a spinning substrate. To achieve the best results, efficient and precise dispensing of the solution is crucial. In this article, we’ll explore three distinct dispense options for spin coating applications: cartridge dispense, pressure can dispense, and disposable syringe dispense. Each option offers specific advantages, catering to dispensing needs in various applications.
Cartridge dispense utilizes a reservoir with low-pressure N2 or air pressure, ensuring a smooth liquid flow. The dispense valve allows for precise adjustment and repeatability of flow control, while an integrated suck-back valve efficiently pulls back the fluid after dispensing to prevent dripping. This method is ideal for accurate liquid dispensing in a wide range of applications and is particularly useful for materials with viscosity (cps) between 1 and 3,000. Cartridge dispense is commonly employed in both research & development and production applications, and it is suitable for dispense volumes ranging from 0.1ml to 50ml. Clean cartridges can be reused to promote cost-effective and sustainable practices.
Pressure Can Dispense
Operating with a sizable 1-gallon (4-liter) reservoir using low-pressure N2 or air pressure, pressure can dispense offers easy adjustment and repeatability in flow control through its dispense valve. With its integrated suck-back valve, it becomes an excellent choice for applications involving repetitive dispensing of the same material, ensuring accurate and reliable liquid dispensing without unwanted drips. This method is suitable for materials with viscosity (cps) between 1 and 3,000 (or 1 to 10,000 if gravity-fed). Pressure can dispense is commonly used in both research & development and production applications and is suitable for dispense volumes ranging from 0.1ml to 100ml (or 1 to 100ml if gravity-fed). A simple flush and clean process allows the pressure can dispenser to be repurposed for dispensing new materials, maximizing its versatility and efficiency.
Disposable Syringe Dispense
The disposable syringe dispense method is most commonly used for research & development applications. It utilizes disposable syringes as both the reservoir and pump for spin coating applications. This eliminates the need for cleaning or decontamination between samples or batches, saving valuable time. Pinch valve suck-back ensures a drip-free dispense. Available in 30ml and 55ml sizes, disposable syringe dispense offers a convenient and efficient way to achieve accurate liquid dispensing in spin coating applications. This method is suitable for materials with viscosity (cps) between 1 and 12,000 and is suitable for dispense volumes ranging from 0.1ml to 50ml.
|Gravity-fed Pressure Can
|Dispense Vol. (ml)
|Clean & Change
|Flush and Clean
|Flush and Clean
|Flush and Clean
|Flush and Clean
*Up to 5,000cps with upgraded dispense valve.
The Cee® Advantage
The Cee® line-up of Apogee® Spin Coaters provides a cutting-edge solution. With a closed bowl design and lid interlock feature, operators are safeguarded from unintentional dispense when the spinner lid is open. Moreover, Cee® excels in chemical compatibility, utilizing materials like stainless steel or chemically inert polymers for its wetted parts.
All Apogee® Spin Coaters feature an integrated 5-port dispense hub, for enhanced functionality. Dispense systems include convenient disposable nozzle tips in various sizes to cater to specific dispensing requirements. In addition to automated dispensing capability, users can manually dispense using a syringe or pipette, providing versatility and ease of use for precise liquid dispensing in spin coating applications.
The dispense control box is a versatile tool, adjusting reservoir pressure for both cartridges and pressure cans. The integrated dispense valve allows minute adjustments to flow rate and suck-back, enabling precise and customizable dispensing for optimal results.
DataStream™ software seamlessly interfaces with common external dispense pumps using a trigger signal, ensuring efficient and synchronized dispense operations. Whether you have your own dispense system or not, DataStream™ software provides enhanced controls for achieving optimal results and process flexibility.
Dispense Options - Customized Solutions
Cee® offers a comprehensive range of options to cater to all your dispense needs including:
- Teflon-lined pressure cans for metal-free requirements
- Gravity-fed pressure cans for high-viscosity liquids
- In-line filtration
- Empty sensors
- Pressure can sizes 1, 2, 3, 5, 10-gallon sizes
- Cartridges from 175ml – 945ml
Edge Bead Removal and Backside Rinse - Improving Coating Process
Apogee® Spin Coaters and Developers can be optionally equipped with Edge Bead Removal (EBR) and Backside Rinse (BSR) capability to further enhance the coating process. EBR involves dispensing a solvent after the coating process to eliminate any buildup along the edges of the wafer using a movable stainless steel nozzle. Similarly, the Backside Rinse function employs solvent dispense to remove any contamination on the backside of the wafer. Both processes are adjustable for all standard wafer sizes and use a pressure-can solvent reservoir, for optimal wafer coating results.
For more information on Cee® Apogee® Automated Dispense, contact our Sales Team today!