Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories
Case Studies
An image of manual dispense being performed on an Apogee® Spin Coater

The Art of Manual Dispense

TL;DR Summary

While automated solutions offer convenience and consistency, manual dispense for spin coating remains an invaluable technique, providing precise control and unmatched flexibility. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of manual dispensing for spin-coating semiconductor substrates, offering insights, tips, and best practices for this approach.

Spin Coating Basics

Spin coating is a widely used technique in semiconductor fabrication. The process involves dispensing a liquid material onto a substrate, typically a flat surface such as a silicon wafer. The substrate is then rotated, causing centrifugal force to spread the liquid evenly across its surface. As the rotation continues, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind a thin, uniform film of the desired material. The speed of rotation, viscosity of the solution, and duration of spinning all play crucial roles in determining the thickness and quality of the resulting film. 

The Advantages of Manual Dispense

Automated dispense is crucial in spin coating for its efficiency, precision, and scalability. By automating the dispense process, manufacturers can achieve consistent and uniform coatings across large batches of substrates, reducing variability and improving product quality. While automated dispense systems offer efficiency and consistency, manual dispense allows operators to exert granular control over the deposition process, making it invaluable for research and development purposes, small-scale production runs, or when dealing with delicate substrates that require special attention. Manual dispense grants operators a significant degree of flexibility and real-time control. This flexibility enables on-the-fly adjustments to parameters such as solution viscosity, and dispensing rate, facilitating precise fine-tuning to achieve optimal coating results. Additionally, manual dispense is a cost-effective solution, particularly for organizations operating under budget constraints or working with specialized substrates. This versatility makes it an ideal choice for experimental setups, custom applications, or research involving novel materials. With manual dispense, operators can tailor the process to specific requirements, ensuring consistent and high-quality results.

Best Practices for Optimal Results

Material Preparation
Before initiating the manual dispense process, it’s essential to prepare the solution meticulously. Ensure proper solvent mixing, filtration to remove impurities, and degassing to eliminate air bubbles, which can adversely affect film uniformity.

Substrate Cleaning and Preparation
Thorough cleaning and preparation of the substrate surface are paramount to achieve uniform coating. Utilize appropriate cleaning techniques such as solvent rinsing, plasma treatment, or UV ozone exposure to remove contaminants and enhance adhesion.

Dispensing Technique
When manually dispensing the solution onto the spinning substrate, maintain a consistent and controlled flow rate to achieve uniform coverage. The Cee® integrated dispense hub ensures consistent dispensing at the wafer center.

Dispense Volume
It’s important to note, that dispensing too much or too little material may lead to less than desirable results. Too little may result in uncoated areas, while dispensing too much material may result in waste and backside contamination of the substrate. In general, a good starting dispense volume is approximately one milliliter per diameter inch of the wafer. For more details on process troubleshooting, refer to our article on Spin Coat Theory.

Spin Coating Parameters
Fine-tune spin coating parameters such as rotation speed, acceleration, and duration according to the specific requirements of the material being deposited and the desired film thickness. Experimentation may be necessary to determine the optimal settings for each application.

Practice Precision
Precision is key when performing manual dispense for spin coating. Take your time to master the technique and strive for consistency in every step of the process.

Regular Maintenance
Ensure that the spin coater and dispensing equipment are well-maintained to prevent malfunctions or irregularities that could compromise coating quality. It is extremely important to ensure a smooth, clean, and unobstructed dispense tip. Regular calibration and cleaning are essential for reliable performance.

Document and Analyze
Keep detailed records of process parameters, coating results, and any observed deviations. Analysis of this data can provide valuable insights for process optimization and troubleshooting.


Manual dispense for spin-coating semiconductor substrates offers a blend of precision, control, and versatility that makes it a useful tool in semiconductor manufacturing. By understanding the fundamentals, adhering to best practices, and leveraging the advantages of manual dispense, operators will achieve consistent and high-quality thin film coatings, driving innovation and advancement in the field of semiconductor technology.

Did you know?

Discover the best of both worlds with Cee®! While our Apogee® line offers automated dispense options, operators retain manual dispense capabilities for ultimate control and versatility. Want to elevate your spin coating experience? Talk with our sales team today!

Share This Post
Author picture

Cost Effective Equipment has been an industry benchmark since 1987 when we produced the world’s first semiconductor-grade benchtop bake plate for silicon wafer processing. In 1992 we launched another industry first with the Cee® Model 100 spin coater.

In the decades since, our product line has expanded to include spin-develop and spin-clean systems as well as wafer chill-plates, large area panel processing tools, and a complete line of temporary wafer bonders and debonders for laboratory and small volume production.

Headquartered in Saint James, Missouri USA, we're pleased to work through a network of trained international distributors to supply and support your needs.