Slot-Die Coater


Order Code: L2005A1-UK
Price excludes taxes
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Precision slot-die coating, even in small laboratories.

Compact & affordable, the Ossila Slot-Die Coater enables scale-up processing for both beginners & experts.


Compatible with both roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet deposition processes, slot-die coating is one of the best techniques for scalable thin-film deposition. Its wide processing window ensures stable defect-free deposition for various solution viscosities. Film uniformity is highly accurate, and thickness is controlled by changing the flow rate and substrate speed.

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). Despite its reduced size, it retains the precision, accuracy, and robustness of typical larger slot-die coaters. It also includes an integrated Syringe Pump for synchronised start/end times.

The entire unit 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 for easy repeat experiments. You have control over temperature, substrate speed and alignment, solution flow rate, channel thickness, head height, and more (full details below)! This product is covered by our FREE 2-year warranty.





Features


Space-Saving Design - Designed with lab space in mind, our compact desktop design allows the system to be place on standard laboratory benches, fume hoods, and even within gloveboxes.


Easy Setup - Ready for immediate use upon being plugged into a power socket. With no need for compressed gasses or vacuum lines, it can easily be moved between different labs and different 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. This increases 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 - Our slot-die system comes with an in-built syringe pump. This gives users precise control over the amount of solution entering the slot-die system, thus enabling accurate and repeatable control over the thickness of the deposited film. The in-built syringe pump is controlled by the same internal software, so there is no need for any external controls - enabling you to program synchronised starting times for your experiments.


Temperature Control - A built-in hotplate on the stage allows the temperature of the substrate to be controlled up to a maximum of 120°C. In addition, a temperature offset can be set in the software for environments with high air flow, to correct for differences between the substrate and hotplate temperature. Control of the substrate temperatures can improve the wetting of solutions by reducing the surface tension, while at the same time the drying rates can be varied - allowing for changes to the nanostructure of deposited films.


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.


Precision Alignment - 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. Careful alignment allows for the system to achieve height variations as low as 1um/cm across the length of travel of the stage.


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 height the stability of the meniscus can be improved and the minimum wet film thickness can be changed.



Slot-Die Coater diagram


In-Built Software


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.

Like our syringe pump system, 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).



Applications


There are a significant number of applications for slot-die coating so far, including:

  • Organic Photovoltaics
  • Organic Field-Effect Transistors
  • Conductive Polymers
  • Nanowires and Nanotubes
  • 2D Materials
  • Organic Light-Emitting Diodes and Perovskite Light-Emitting Diodes
  • Perovskite Photovoltaics
  • Electrolytes and electrodes for Li-ion batteries
  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
  • and many more...


Specifications


Slot-Die Head Material Stainless Steel
Slot-Die Head Coating Width 50 mm (Maximum)
Slot-Die Shim Thickness 100 μm
Slot-Die Shim Sets 5 x 50mm Wide Shims, or 5 x 25mm Wide Shims
Hotplate Temperature 120 °C
Travel Length

100 mm

Minimum Stage Speed 100 μm.s-1
Maximum Stage Speed

50 mm s-1

Minimum Syringe Speed 12 μm.s-1
Maximum Syringe Speed 5 mm.s-1
Maximum Head to Substrate Travel Distance 13 mm
Tubing and Connector Material PTFE Tubing, high density PP Luer lock connectors, stainless steel Luer lock to thread connector
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

Please note that these specifications are subject to change within the final product. If there are any specific details not listed that you would like to know, please contact us.



Slot-Die Coating Overview


Roll-to-Roll Compatible - Slot-die coating is one of the many deposition methods that can be incorporated into roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet based deposition systems. The advantages of these are that throughput can be increased when incorporating a deposition system into a in-line process. By increasing throughput, the overall production costs of thin-film electronic devices will be significantly reduced.

Reliable and Simple - Slot-die coating is one of the most reliable techniques for fabricating thin wet films, and is capable of producing coatings with variations lower than 2% across many meters. The control of thickness is simply governed by the solution flow rate and substrate speed, while the presence of coating defects can be eliminated by varying several geometric parameters (which do not alter the coating thickness).

Use in Research - Although slot-die coating is an extremely powerful technique, its application in research and development of thin-film electronics is currently limited as it is primarily an industrial technique As such, even the most simple system comes at a high price because manufacturers cater to industry rather than academia. Moreover, 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. With Ossila's compact slot-die coater gives researchers access to a slot-die coater in the lab enabling them to optimise ink formulation and processing parameters - without the need for large print runs. Ultimately, this helps researchers ensure that their findings can be scaled-up for real-life applications.

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.

The Slot Die Thickness Equation
The equation governing the thickness of slot-die coatings, where d is the coating thickness [cm], f is the flow rate [cm3/min], v is coating speed [cm/min], w is coating width [cm],c is ink concentration [g/cm3], and ρ is density of dried film [g/cm3].

Defect-Free Coating - 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.


More information can be found in our guide to Slot-die Coating Theory. Practical hints and tips on avoiding defects can be found in our guide to Slot-Die Coating: Troubleshooting Defects. To be the first to know about our latest news and support guides, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!


Publications

  1. 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


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To the best of our knowledge, the technical information provided here is accurate. However, Ossila assume no liability for the accuracy of this information. The values provided here are typical at the time of manufacture and may vary over time and from batch to batch.