Spin coating of thin and ultrathin polymer films

Authors

  • David B. Hall,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208–3120
    2. Materials Research Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208–3120
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  • Patrick Underhill,

    1. Materials Research Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208–3120
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  • John M. Torkelson

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208–3120
    2. Materials Research Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208–3120
    3. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208–3120
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Abstract

The spin coating of thin (> 200 nm thick) and ultrathin (< 200 nm thick) polymer films is examined in several solvents of varying volatility over a broad range of polymer solution concentrations and spin speeds. Experimentally measured film thicknesses are compared with a simple model proposed by Bornside, Macosko, and Scriven, which predicts film thickness based on the initial properties of the polymer solution, solvent, and spin speed. This model is found to predict film thickness values within 10% over the entire range of conditions explored, which gave film thicknesses from 10 nm to 33 μ:m. The model underpredicts film thickness for cases in which a very volatile solvent is used or the initial concentration of polymer is high, while overpredicting film thickness for cases in which a low volatility solvent is used or the initial polymer concentration is very low. These deviations are a consequence of how the model decouples fluid flow and solvent evaporation.

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