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Spin Coater User Manual


Spin Coater

  • Vacuum-Free Design
  • Compact Size
  • No Substrate Warping

Available From £2300

1. Overview


The vacuum-free Ossila Spin Coater is part of the Institute of Physics award-winning Solar Cell Prototyping Platform. Unlike most other models in the market, it does not need a vacuum pump or nitrogen line – therefore requiring less servicing and enabling you to produce high-quality coatings without the problems of substrate warping. Compact and portable, the Spin Coater will help you optimise space in the glove box or on the workbench without compromising on functionality – making it the ideal solution for busy labs with limited space.

Substrates are held firmly on the chuck without the need for a vacuum. This produces a better uniform thin-film coating across the substrate. The Ossila Spin Coater is operated via a built-in interactive user interface.

During a cycle, the product recipe number, spinning speed, and remaining time are displayed on the full colour display screen – so you do not need an external PC connection.

Click for more information about The Ossila Solar Cell Prototyping Platform and to see related products.
Ossila Spin Coater

2. EU Declaration of Conformity (DoC)


Please refer to the full PDF or print user manual for the EU Declaration of Conformity (DoC).

3. Safety


3.1 Warning

  • Devices with applied bias or current should NOT be left unattended, as a power failure may result in board damage or device damage (and potentially hazardous situations).
  • Only use the unit with the supplied 24 VDC power adapter.
  • Opening the lid will cause the rotating chuck to stop. However, due to inertia, it can take a few seconds for the chuck to come to a complete stop.
  • Ensure the substrate is placed in an adequately sized chuck recess, as it holds it in place and stops it flying out.
  • The unit should be operated under a working exhaust hood when used with flammable or toxic substances.

3.2 Use of Equipment

This Spin Coater is designed to be used as instructed, and in the following environmental conditions:

  • Indoors in a laboratory environment (pollution degree 2).
  • Altitudes up to 2000 m.
  • Temperatures of 5°C to 40°C; maximum relative humidity of 80% up to 31°C.

The Spin Coater is supplied with a power adapter and a power cord for the country of purchase (in accordance with European Commission regulations and British Standards). Use of any other electrical power cables or adaptors is not recommended.

3.3 Hazard Icons

The following symbols can be found at various points throughout this manual. Note and read each warning before attempting any associated operations associated with it:

Table 3.1 Hazard warning labels used in this manual.

Symbol Associated Hazard
General warning symbol General warning or caution, which accompanying text will explain
Electrical shock warning symbol Electrical shock
Risk of explosion warning symbol Explosion
Inhalation warning symbol Inhalation

3.4 General Hazards

Before installing or operating the Spin Coater, there are several health and safety precautions which must be followed and executed to ensure safe installation and operation.

WARNING: Improper handling when operating or servicing this equipment can result in serious injury or death. Read this manual before operating or servicing this equipment.

Risk of explosion warning symbol DANGER: DO NOT use the Spin Coater in the presence of an explosive atmosphere.
Electrical shock warning symbol WARNING: Emergency Power Disconnect options: Use the power cord as a disconnect method. Ensure that the power outlet for this cord is easily accessible by the user.
General warning symbol CAUTION: Opening the lid will cause the rotating chuck to stop. However, due to inertia it will take a few seconds for the rotating chuck to come to a complete stop at the highest speeds.
General warning symbol CAUTION: Ensure the substrate is placed into a chuck with an adequatesized recess as it holds it in place and stops it flying around the bowl or even out of the bowl if the lid was opened at the highest speed (see caution III).
General warning symbol CAUTION: Use under an exhaust hood when used with flammable or harmful solvents.

3.5 Servicing

If servicing is required, please return the unit to Ossila Ltd. The warranty will be invalidated if:

  • Modification or service has taken place by anyone other than an Ossila engineer.
  • The unit has been subjected to chemical damage through improper use.
  • The unit has been operated outside the usage parameters stated in the user documentation associated with the unit.
  • The unit has been rendered inoperable through accident, misuse, contamination, improper maintenance, modification, or other external causes.

3.6 Health and Safety - Installation

Inhalation warning symbol
  • Place the machine on a solid, level surface, free from vibration and temperature extremes. For optimum performance, make sure that the chuck is also level.
  • Refer to the specifications section or to the label on the power adapter for electrical requirements.
  • The machine is not to be used in a hazardous atmosphere.

3.7 Health and Safety - Operation

Inhalation warning symbol

CAUTION: The unit should be operated under an exhaust hood when flammable or harmful solvents are being used.

General warning symbol

CAUTION: Opening the lid will cause the rotating chuck to stop. However, due to inertia, it will take a few seconds for the rotating chuck to come to a complete stop at the highest speeds. There is a risk of substances flying out of the bowl.

3.8 Health and Safety - Servicing

Electrical shock warning symbol

Servicing should only be performed by an Ossila engineer. Any modification or alteration may damage the equipment, cause injury, or death. It will also avoid your equipment’s warranty.

4. Unpacking


4.1 Packing List

The items included with the Spin Coater are:

  • The Spin Coater unit.
  • Power adapter with a power cord (specific for country of operating).
  • Chuck (as specified by the customer).

4.2 Damage Inspection

Examine the components for any evidence of shipping damage. If damage has occurred, please contact Ossila directly for further action.

5. Specifications


The Spin Coater specifications are shown in Table 5.1

Table 5.1. Spin Coater specifications.

Programs 10 programs with up to 50 steps each
Speed stability < 2%
Speed 120 RPM to 6000 RPM
Spin time 1 sec - 1000 sec
Power supply 24 VDC/2A
Interlock Software/hardware interlock
Case dimensions

Width: 170 mm

Height: 140 mm

Depth: 225 mm

Materials Central polypropylene unit, steel frame, sides and base, PET display and keypad, and tempered glass lid
Fuses 1A slow blow
Weight 3 kg

6. System Components


The Ossila Spin Coater L2001A comprises three items: the spin coater unit (Figure 6.1), power adapter (Figure 6.2) and spin coater chuck (Figure 6.3).

The Spin Coater is powered from a 24VDC mains power adapter. The power supply adapter is supplied with a power plug that is suitable for the country of purchase.

The Spin Coater chuck recess size is specified by the customer. The chucks are designed with close tolerances and provide a flat, rigid surface for mounting substrates of different sizes, weights and shapes. Proper chuck selection should be based on substrate size. The chuck has a push-fit connection to the motor coupling in the bowl of the Spin Coater and is easily removable for cleaning or interchanging with other chucks. The chuck is made from a highdensity copolymer of polypropylene, which has a high degree of chemical resistance. For cleaning, see Section 9.1.

Ossila Spin Coater Schematic
Figure 6.1 The Ossila Spin Coater
Ossila 24 VDC Power Adapter
Figure 6.2 The 24 VDC power adapter
Ossila Spin Coater Chuck
Figure 6.3 The Ossila Spin Coater chuck

7. Installation


The process for installing the Spin Coater is as follows:

  1. Place the unit on a solid, level surface. Ensure the area is free from vibrations, temperature extremes
  2. Before plugging in the spin coater, ensure the power switch on the unit is switched to the ‘0’ position (off).
  3. Connect the power adapter to the power jack on the back panel of the Spin Coater unit (see Figure 7.1).
  4. Refer to the label on the power adapter for electrical requirements.
  5. Switch the Spin Coater power switch to the ‘I’ position to turn the unit on.
Connecting power adapter to power jack
Figure 7.1 Connecting the power adapter to the power jack on the back panel of the unit

8. Operation


Device Overview

A top-down view of the Spin Coater is shown in Figure 8.1, with all the relevant components highlighted.

Ossila Spin Coater schematic
Figure 8.1 Spin Coater top-down image

User Interface

Figure 8.2 shows the front panel of the spin coater, with a description of the functionality of each button.

Spin Coater screen and keypad
Figure 8.2 Spin Coater screen and keypad
Start button The start button is used to initiate a programmed sequence. While a program is running, the display will show the message “RUNNING” with the current speed and elapsed time. The “RUNNING” message will disappear once the program is finished.
Stop button The stop button is used to terminate the running program. It will reset to the first step of a given program when pressed.
Button to navigate user profiles These buttons are used to navigate between different user profiles.
Button to navigate between changeable parameters These buttons are used to navigate between the changeable parameters within a program. While navigating, the cursor icon will indicate which parameter is selected. These buttons are used to navigate between the changeable parameters within a program. While navigating, the cursor icon will indicate which parameter is selected.

These buttons are used to change the profile values where the cursor is located and are divided into three columns:

Button to perform small increase Small increase (by 1 or 10)
Button to perform small decrease Small decrease (by 1 or 10)
Button to perform medium increase Medium increase (by 10 or 100)
Button to perform medium decrease Medium decrease (by 10 or 100)
Button to perform large increase Large increase (by 100 or 1000)
Button to perform large decrease Large decrease (by 100 or 1000)

Programming and Usage

The Ossila Spin Coater has two pre-set experimental programs to get you started.

Table 8.1. Pre-set programs

User No. Program No. Step No. RPM Time (sec)
User 01 Program 01 1 2000 30
Program 02

1

2

2000

5000

30

5

(I) Selecting a User Profile ("User")

  1. To select the user profile of your choice, press either the left or right “User” buttons. The maximum number of user profiles is 10.
  2. Select user profile

(II) Selecting a Program

  1. Each user profile can store up to 10 programs. To choose between program numbers, navigate to the “Program” line and press the “Up” or “Down” buttons.
  2. Select a program
  3. To edit the program, you can alter the number of steps in a program by using the “Up” or “Down” buttons. The maximum number of steps is 50 steps.
  4. Edit number of steps
  5. Navigate to the “Step” line by using the “Select” keys to choose which step number is to be edited. The step number can be selected by using the “Up” or “Down” buttons.
  6. Choose the step number
  7. Navigate to the “Speed” line to change the speed of the current step. Use the “Value” buttons to increase or decrease the value. The maximum value is 6000 rpm.
  8. Choose a speed value
  9. Navigate to the “Time” line to specify the time duration for the current step. Use the “Value” buttons to increase or decrease the value. The maximum time duration is 1000 seconds.
  10. Choose the time duration
  11. Navigate back to the “Step” line using the cursor. Then, increase the number of steps to set the Speed and Time.
  12. Increase the number of steps to set speed and times

(III) Start Program

  1. Once everything is set and ready, press “Start” to run the program. At the bottom of the display, the current elapsed time and current speed will be shown.
  2. 6% progress of program - step 1 of 3 47% progress of program - step 2 of 3 100% progress of program - step 3 of 3
  3. To abort the operation, press the 'STOP' button.
  4. Program stopping due to stop button pressed
  5. Once the operation is completed, a “STOPPING” warning message will appear to notify the user. When this warning is displayed, the motor cannot re-run until it has completely stopped.
  6. Program stopping due to completion
  7. If the lid is opened, a warning appears on the screen to notify the user. If the lid is opened while the motor is running, the system will force the motor to stop.
  8. Lid open warning message

9. Maintenance


9.1 Cleaning

  • To clean the lid, bowl, and chuck, use a solvent that is appropriate to dissolve the materials that have been spin coated.
  • Use a soft cloth or towel in order to avoid damage to the polypropylene.
  • Take care when cleaning around the keypad and display area, because organic solvents may damage/remove the label.

9.2 Repair and Service

The only user-serviceable part in this unit is the fuse (accessible externally). If the unit is faulty, please return it to Ossila. We will promptly quote to repair any faults that occur outside the 2-year warranty period. Parts subject to normal wear and tear (Spin Coater chucks) are not covered by the warranty.

9.3 Storage Conditions

The Spin Coater should be kept in dry conditions; away from direct sources of heat or sunlight, and in such a manner as to preserve the working life of the instrument.

10. Troubleshooting


Table 10.1. Troubleshooting guidelines for the Ossila Spin Coater

Problem Possible Cause Action
Spin Coater will not power up The power supply may not be connected properly, or the switch is in the OFF position Check the connection and make sure the power is turned ON
Cycle will not start No recipe programmed Select/program a recipe
Lid open/close not detected, or lid still open Open and close the lid properly
Cycle starts, but immediately stops Recipe problem Review, edit and re-enter recipe as needed
Display time or RPM appears incorrect Issue with the program Turn OFF the Spin Coater for 5 seconds, and then restart
Coating issues If the chuck is removed (for cleaning etc), it may not have been re-inserted properly causing an imbalance Ensure the chuck is pushed in thoroughly so that the two metallic headers are inserted all the way and flush with the top of the chuck
The Spin Coater is not level Place the Spin Coater on a flat and sturdy surface and use the in-built spirit level
If the above does not solve the issue Contact Ossila
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