Precision slot-die coating, even in small laboratories
Scale-up your thin-film processing with our compact and affordable Slot-Die Coater
Part of the Institute of Physics award-winning Solar Cell Prototyping Platform, the Ossila Slot-Die Coater is much smaller than other models on the market (measuring only 36 x 28 x 19 cm) but just as precise. Despite its reduced size, it also includes an integrated Syringe Pump for synchronised start and end times.
The Ossila Slot-Die Coater is fully operable via the digital controls on the unit itself. This allows you to easily programme multi-step processes, where different parts of the system can each be controlled independently. Up to 20 of these programmes can be saved, each of which can contain up to 50 steps, for easy repeat experiments. The Ossila Slot-Die Coater gives easy control over temperature, substrate speed and alignment, solution flow rate, channel thickness, head height, and more (see below for full details).
This product is covered by our FREE 2-year warranty and is eligible for FREE worldwide shipping. Designed to be used by both beginners and experts, order your slot-die coater today to scale up your thin film processing. A range of Slot-Die Coater Accessories including heads, shims and tubing can also be purchased separately.
What is Slot-Die Coating?
Compatible with both roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet deposition processes, slot-die coating is one of the best techniques available for scalable thin-film deposition. It gives highly accurate film uniformity, has a wide processing window, and is an extremely reliable method for wet thin film coating. The theory behind slot-die coating is very straight-forward; as a pre-metered technique, control of thickness is simply governed by the solution flow rate and substrate speed.
The most important part of any slot-die coating machine is the head, which features a narrow slot through which the solution flows. The rate of flow is precisely controlled to ensure an even coating. The Ossila Slot-Die Coater uses a syringe pump to do this, and is capable of producing coatings with variations lower than 5% across large areas and a variation of 0.05% over 100 mm. The wide processing window ensures stable defect-free deposition for various solution viscosities, and the presence of any coating defects can be eliminated by varying several geometric parameters, which do not themselves alter the coating thickness.
Designed with lab space in mind, our compact desktop design allows the Ossila Slot-Die Coater to be place on standard laboratory benches, fume hoods, and even within gloveboxes.
Ready for immediate use upon being plugged into a power socket. With no need for compressed gasses or vacuum lines, the Ossila Slot-Die Coater can easily be moved between different labs and environments.
High cross-web uniformity
By using a simple coat-hanger design for the distribution of solution, the flow rate across the head width is made uniform. This results in highly even coatings across the width for a wide range of viscosities. The stainless-steel slot-die head allows for compatibility with the widest range of materials possible.
Variable channel thickness
Interchangeable stainless-steel shims allow the user to change the thickness of the slot die channel, increasing the range of different solutions that can be processed with a single slot die head. By inserting multiple shims, the channel thickness can be increased in intervals of 100μm.
Uniform flow rates and thicknesses
For accurate and repeatable film thicknesses, the Ossila Slot-Die Coater has an in-built syringe pump. This gives precise control over the amount of solution entering the system. The in-built software makes programming synchronised starting times easy.
A built-in hotplate on the stage allows the temperature of the substrate to be controlled. This can improve the wetting of solutions by reducing the surface tension and allows the drying rates to be varied. For environments with high air flow, a temperature offset can be set to correct for differences between the substrate and hotplate temperature.
Wide range of substrate speeds
Our motorised stage allows for smooth, continuous movement. With the motor capable of moving at speeds from as low as 1mm/m to as high as 50mm/s, the system has a wide processing window for control of the meniscus.
By using a 3-point levelling system along with high precision micrometer gauges it is possible to precisely align the stage relative to the head.
Head height control
Two micrometers on top of the head carriage allow for the adjustment of the slot die head relative to the stage. By varying the gap height, the stability of the meniscus can be improved and the minimum wet film thickness can be changed.
The Ossila Slot-Die Coater is completely controlled by in-built software. Complex multi-step processes can be programmed with fine control over solution dispense rates, dispense volumes, dispense times, and stage speed.
The intuitive, easy-to-use in-built software used in Ossila's other products has been incorporated into our slot-die coater. A full-colour LCD provides a clear bright view of the screen, and the in-built software allows for the programming of complex multi-step processes where the different parts of the system can be controlled independently. As all elements are contained within the system, there is no need for any external computer controls - further saving money and space within the labs.
The slot-die system is capable of saving 20 different programmes containing up to 50 steps each. These steps allow the user to choose various solution dispense rates, dispense volumes, dispense times, stage speed, and distance moved. Combined with the simple-to-use control panel and user interface, programming of the system can be done quickly.
Our slot-die coating system comes with various safety features to ensure user protection. Maximum force settings can be applied for the syringe driver to reduce the chance of damage to delicate glass syringes. In addition, safety interlocks stop the system from crashing at the end of the travel (for both the syringe pump and motorised stage).
Slot-Die Coating Applications
There are a significant number of applications for slot-die coating, including:
- Organic Photovoltaics
- Organic Field-Effect Transistors
- Conductive Polymers
- Nanowires and Nanotubes
- 2D Materials
- Organic and Perovskite Light-Emitting Diodes
- Perovskite Photovoltaics
- Electrolytes and electrodes for Li-ion batteries
- Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Slot-die coating is the gold standard for scalable thin-film processing. The method is commonly used in manufacturing, and can achieve high coating speeds with excellent accuracy and very little solution waste. The Ossila Spin Coater brings this to the lab.
Slot-Die Coating in Research
Although slot-die coating is an extremely powerful technique, it is primarily considered to be an industrial method. As such, most slot-die coaters are designed to cater to industry rather than academia, and even relatively simple systems come at a high price. These systems are often larger and more complex than what is required by researchers who are just starting to develop the processing techniques required for depositing thin films.
The Ossila Slot-Die Coater gives researchers access to a slot-die coating, enabling them to optimise ink formulation and processing parameters without the need for large print runs. Ultimately, this helps ensure that their findings can be scaled-up for real-life applications and makes slot-die coater ideal for pilot-level production and scale-up process feasibility tests.
- Slot-Die Coating of Double Polymer Layers for the Fabrication of Organic Light Emitting Diodes. Amruth C. et al. Micromachines 10(1), 53 (2019). Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-666X/10/1/53
- Slot-die printed two-dimensional ZrS3 charge transport layer for perovskite light-emitting diodes. Dmitry S. Muratov et al. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2019). Just accepted manuscript: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b16457
Contact us to add your publication.
Getting Started with the Ossila Slot-Die Coater
Controlling Film Thickness
As slot-die coating is a pre-metered coating technique, the thickness of the deposited wet film only depends on the solution flow rate, the speed of the substrate, and the width of coating. When the solution concentration and material density is taken into account it is possible to determine the dry film thickness, this is given in the equation below.
Slot-die coating relies upon the formation of a stable coating bead. This bead consists of an upstream and downstream meniscus, which needs to be pinned to the lip of the slot-die head. By balancing the flow from the slot-die head against the viscous flow on the substrate surface, this bead can be stabilised. Various parameters can be changed to alter these two competing flows - this includes the solution flow rate, substrate speed, head height, solution wetting, and slot-die head channel thickness. This allows for multiple ways to get the coating process into the stable coating window to obtain defect-free films.
Support and Articles
Slot-Die Coater Specifications
|Maximum Hotplate Temperature||120 °C|
|Stage Surface Roughness (RMS)||< 3 μm*|
|Stage Surface Flatness||< 20 μm*|
|Linear Motion Levelness||< 50 μm variation over 100 mm (0.05%)*|
|Stage Travel Length||100 mm (maximum)|
|Minimum Stage Speed||100 μm.s-1|
|Maximum Stage Speed||
50 mm s-1
|Maximum Head to Substrate Travel Distance||13 mm|
|Power Supply||DC 24 V, 6.2 A, via 100-240v 50/60Hz power adapter|
|Dimensions||Depth x Width x Height (360 mm x 280 mm x 190 mm)|
|Shipping Weight||< 10 kg|
*Values determined at a stage temperature of 21°C.
In-built Syringe Pump Specifications
|Minimum Syringe Speed||12 μm.s-1|
|Maximum Syringe Speed||5 mm.s-1|
Slot-Die Head Specifications
|Slot-Die Head Material||Stainless Steel|
|Slot-Die Head Coating Width||50 mm (maximum)|
|Slot-Die Shim Thickness||100 μm
|Luer Lock Adapter||Stainless Steel M5 to Luer Lock Adapter|
|Tubing and Connector Material||PTFE Tubing, high density PP Luer lock connectors, stainless steel Luer lock to thread connector|
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.