UV Ozone Cleaner
Ultraclean surfaces within minutes
Produce near-atomically clean surfaces without causing damage to the sample
The Ossila UV Ozone Cleaner is capable of removing contamination from the surface of substrates and samples, providing ultraclean surfaces within minutes. Using a high-power UV light source to generate ozone and break down organic surface contaminants, the procedure can produce near-atomically clean surfaces without causing damage to the sample. Volatile compounds created from surface contaminants quickly evaporate, leaving the sample ready for the next part of your experiment.
Able to treat a wide range of materials for a number of different applications, the Ossila UV Ozone Cleaner is an extremely versatile piece of equipment. Eligible for free worldwide shipping and covered by our two year warranty is included as standard.
How does UV ozone cleaning work?
UV ozone cleaning relies upon the use of a high-intensity UV light source, which illuminates the surface to be cleaned with two specific wavelengths of light. Low pressure mercury vapour discharge lamps are typically used, like the synthetic quartz UV grid lamp in the Ossila UV Ozone Cleaner, which have two dominant emission peaks at 184 nm and 254 nm. Upon irradiation, molecular oxygen present in the air is dissociated by radiation below 200 nm in length. This results in the formation of two radicals of oxygen. These radicals go on to react with further molecular oxygen forming molecules of ozone.
At the same time, light at 254 nm is used to excite organic species present on the surface of the sample. This process increases the reactivity of the contaminants with ozone. Upon reacting, the material is cleaned from the surface.
High intensity UV lamp
The UV Ozone Cleaner houses a high intensity, low pressure synthetic quartz mercury vapour discharge lamp. By utilizing the emission at 185 nm and 254 nm, ozone is generated. The presence of ozone and UV light allows for the removal of organics and sterilizes the surface.
The large lamp size (100 mm x 100 mm) and high intensity output gives results quickly and facilitates a large cleaning area.
Large cleaning area
Despite the small footprint of the unit itself (204 mm x 227 mm x 300 mm), the Ossila UV Cleaner has a large illumination area. The tray measures 100 mm by 100 mm, which allows for the cleaning of a wide array of samples, including:
The maximum recommended substrate size is 100 mm x 100 mm x 14 mm (W x L x D).
Simple to use interface
The bright LCD display and tactile keypad provide a simple interface. With the easy to use built-in software, it only takes a short time to start cleaning your samples.
Using the buttons on the front of the unit, it is easy to control the cleaning time. The built-in software continuously monitors the temperature inside the system; the panel can show temperature readings for the tray, UV lamp, and electronics. This makes it easy to make sure that delicate samples do not overheat.
Designed with added safety
The Ossila UV Ozone Cleaner has been designed and built with safety in mind, backed up by the Ossila Guarantee and our free two year warranty.
The unit adheres to BS EN 61010-1:2010 standards alongside EMC, Low Voltage, and RoHS CE directives. Smart safety features include an integrated safety interlock that prevents the lamp from being powered on while the tray is open. The system also includes a software alert, which is triggered if the temperature detected by any of the internal sensors is too high.
UV ozone cleaning is a versatile technique which can be applied to a large array of materials to provide surface cleaning and treatment. It can also be used for a variety of other applications which require either the presence of ozone or UV light, meaning that the method sees a wide range of uses across multiple disciplines. The two main applications for the technique are for surface cleaning and surface treatment.
Surface cleaning using UV ozone cleaning is typically done as a final step in a cleaning procedure to remove residual organics that are present on the surface of a sample. The process results in an atomically clean surface, free from any organic contaminants. Contaminants that can be cleaned with UV ozone cleaning include photoresists, human skin oils, plastic surface / silicon oil residues, resins, cleaning solvent residues, and solder flux.
During the cleaning process the formation of ozone and oxygen radicals can result in reaction with water molecules present in the air. This results in the formation of hydroxide radicals. These short lived, highly reactive species can react with bonds on the surface of substrates, resulting in the formation of high energy hydroxide groups. This can help with preparation of samples by increasing the surface energy of a substrate.
Other applications of UV ozone cleaning include surface sterilization, UV curing, UV chemical reactions, the removal of surface monolayers, oxidation of surfaces, and micropatterning. Common materials that can be treated using UV ozone cleaning include:
- Quartz / glass
- Silicon / silicon oxides
- Metal oxides
- III-V semiconductors
- Slides and substrates
- AFM/STM probes
- Optical components
- Petri dishes
Frequently Asked Questions
How does UV ozone clean samples?
UV ozone cleaning is a photo-sensitized oxidation process in which organic molecules in their excited state chemically react with ozone molecules, resulting in the cleaving of bonds and the dissociation of molecules from the surface. The process utilizes a high intensity UV light source which has two dominant emission peaks at 185 nm and 254 nm. These two wavelengths are responsible for different processes, which ultimately result in the cleaning of the surface.
Radiation below 200 nm is strongly absorbed by molecular oxygen. The energy of the absorbed photon is enough to break the oxygen-oxygen double bond, resulting in the formation of two free radicals of oxygen (O•). These free radicals can subsequently react with molecular oxygen producing ozone molecules (O3).
UV radiation at 254 nm is readily absorbed by organic species that are present on the surface of many substrates. The exciton that is formed will be in a highly energetic state, and the energy may also be high enough for certain molecules to make organic radicals.
The excited states and organic radical species present on the surface readily react with ozone present within the atmosphere, resulting in the formation of volatile species such as carbon dioxide, water, molecular nitrogen, and short chain organic compounds. These volatile compounds can easily desorb from the surface under atmospheric conditions, leaving a pristine surface.
How Does UV Ozone Alter Surface Energy?
UV Ozone treatment alters the surface energy of samples via two methods. The first of these is through the removal of low energy contaminants from the surface. These are typically organic atmospheric contaminants that have adsorbed onto the surface of a substrate. The second way is through treatment of the surface and the formation of high energy bonds on the surface of the samples.
The removal of contaminants is done via the photo-oxidation process. This process results in the desorption of contaminants from the surface due to the chemical break down of the organic material. The underlying substrate is typically a higher energy surface, such as a ceramic or a metal, which results in the surface energy of the sample increasing in comparison to when it was untreated. This treatment does not last forever as over time organic contaminants will begin to reabsorb back onto the surface, slowly decreasing the surface energy.
The second way that UV ozone treatment works to improve the surface energy is via the formation of hydroxyl functional groups on the surface of the substrate. During the irradiation process, light at 253.7 nm can break down water molecules, resulting in the formation of OH and O free radicals. Hydroxyl free radicals will typically react with ozone present to form water and oxygen, however, when the UV degradation of water occurs near the surface of the sample, the hydroxyl free radical can react with the surface, forming a functional group. This functional group has a high bonding energy, resulting in an increase in the surface energy of most surfaces.
For more information on the theory of surface energy and how to calculate surface energies please visit our surface energy guide page.
Getting Started with the Ossila UV Ozone Cleaner
Removal of surface monolayers and improving surface hydrophilicity
In this application, we used the UV Ozone Cleaner to remove a surface layer of n-octadecyl trichlorosilane (OTS) to improve the wetting of water-based solutions on a silicon substrate.
OTS is an organic molecule which is used in the fabrication of organic field effect transistors to improve the electrical properties of deposited films. It consists of a trichlorosilane group, which reacts with the native oxide of silicon to form three siloxane bonds with the surface. These bonds repeat across the surface of the silicon substrate until the entire surface is covered in a monolayer of OTS.
The long hydrocarbon chains result in the substrate having a very low surface energy. Wetting of high surface energy solvents, such as water, therefore becomes impossible, and the contact angle of deposited droplets are high. The OTS treated substrate was exposed to UV ozone for approximately 10 minutes to clean the surface of the octadecane carbon chains. The treatment increased the surface energy enough to allow complete wetting of the water droplet on the substrates surface.
- Accurate Film Desposition
- Range of Speeds
Available From £2300
Surface treatment of PMMA substrates to reduce contact angle
Surface treatment can be used to improve the surface energy of a substrate. The treatment time (length of exposure to ozone) can vary the degree of change in surface energy.
For example, plastic substrates have very low surface energy due to the abundance of C-H bonds and other similar low energy bonds. As a result, due to the poor wetting that occurs, coating thin films from solutions that have high surface tension solvents can be difficult.
One method to assess the degree of wetting is to look at the contact angle that a droplet makes on the surface of the substrate. The lower the contact angle (measurable with an Ossila Contact Angle Goniometer) that a particular solvent makes, the better the wetting it. UV ozone cleaning can be used to treat the surface to improve the wetting of solvents.
During the process of UV ozone treatment, ozone reacts with surface bonds, breaking down the organic groups and eventually releasing volatile species. During the process, intermediate steps occur in which low energy bonds such as the C-H bond are replaced with higher energy groups such as C-OH.
Contact Angle Goniometer
- High-Resolution Video
- Accurate Measurement
- Simple to Use
Available From £1800
Resources and Support
|UV lamp type||Synthetic Quartz UV Grid Lamp|
|UV lamp dominant wavelengths||185 nm and 254 nm|
|UV lamp dimensions||100 mm x 100 mm|
|UV lamp current||30 mA (constant)|
|254 nm output intensity||10 mW/cm2 at trays surface|
|UV lamp lifetime||T80 (2000 hours); 8-10 years of standard daily use|
|Power supply||Mains 220-240 VAC Fused at 1A|
|Optional AC/AC Adapter||110 V / 230V|
|Max run time||59 minutes 59 seconds|
|Safety features||Safety interlock, High temperature warning, thermal cut-out|
|Substrate tray size||100 mm x 100 mm|
|Maximum recommended substrate size||100 mm x 100 mm x 14 mm (W x L x D)|
|Overall Dimensions||204 mm (width) x 227 mm (height) 300 mm (depth)|
Please note that this UV Ozone Cleaner does NOT have an integrated ozone filtration system, and must therefore be operated in a working fume hood.
Documents and Datasheets
To the best of our knowledge the information provided here is accurate. However, Ossila assume no liability for the accuracy of this page. The values provided are typical at the time of manufacture and may vary over time and from batch to batch. All products are for laboratory and research and development use only, and may not be used for any other purpose including health care, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food or commercial applications.