Spincoater

In our lab, we use a Headway spincoater (shown below) to deposit polymer films with thicknesses ranging from a few nanometers up to hundreds of nanometers.

Headway Spincoater

Headway Spincoater

Technique

Spincoating is a technique by which very thin films are deposited onto a solid substrate. To fabricate thin polymer films, the polymer is first dissolved in a volatile solvent (e.g. toluene for polystyrene). If a drop of solution is placed on a substrate, it can flow to form a metastable, continuous film or form a droplet on the surface, depending on the "wettability" of the substrate. By spinning the substrate, the droplet is forced to spread out while the solvent evaporates. If deposition conditions such as choice of solvent, solution concentration and spin speed are chosen correctly, a thin film of uniform thickness is deposited on the substrate.