Using Photolithography to Pattern Metal Surfaces

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Many life sciences applications benefit from photolithography, a method of microfabricating materials, because of its low-cost, efficient process. A substrate is covered with a photoresist and exposed to light to remove specific areas, leaving a patterned image behind. This blog post will look at why photolithography is used to pattern metal surfaces and the benefits it provides.

How Photolithography Factors into Semiconductor Manufacturing

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Photolithography is the pioneering technique used to generate functional patterns on various substrates. Precision microfabrication often occurs at scales and levels of throughput that conventional machining paradigms cannot achieve. No mechanical tools can etch microelectronics for complex devices like integrated circuits, optical components, and bio-sensors. Photolithography, meanwhile, is perfectly suited to the task. 

Electrical Characterization of Interdigitated Electrodes (IDEs)

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Interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) are widely used as pressure sensors and transducers in the medical electronics industry. They are also used in applications such as biomedical devices, automotive electronics and industrial process control systems. Due to their high sensitivity, IDEs have found use as strain gauges and force sensors in these industries. To characterize IDEs, electrical measurements need to be carried out on them since they can store charge and exhibit capacitance under certain conditions. This article discusses important characteristics of IDEs, including resistance, capacitance and impedance.

Improved sensors for water contaminants using Au(111)

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New research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, led by Professor Fernando Garzon of the University of New Mexico, demonstrates a novel strategy to improve sensors for water contaminants. The new approach involves using a thin films of highly oriented gold Au(111) on an electrode to enable redesign of the sensing surface and enhance its sensitivity.

Critical Benefits of Cell Invasion Assays

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Cell-based assays are crucial for analyzing cell health, cytotoxicity, invasion, migration,  and many other biological and drug-discovery applications and cancer research. A cell invasion assay is one of many different types of assays. It measures cell movement across extracellular boundaries and how single cells respond to various chemo-attractants. This blog post will provide an overview of the critical benefits of cell invasion assays. 

Photolithography & Adhesion 

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A common problem that can occur during photolithography fabrication is adhesion of the photoresist to the substrate. A photoresist consists of a resin, sensitizer, adhesion promoter, and a thinner. Each component contributes to the overall photoresist properties. A resin is included to withstand an etchant solution that may be used in the later stages of fabrication. A sensitizer offers a photosensitive element to the resist that allows it to be exposed in certain areas and not in others. A thinner is included to modify the viscosity of the overall photoresist and make it easier to spin-coat onto the substrate. The included adhesion promoter is often not potent enough to provide enough strength between resist and substrate material.  

What is Shadow Masking? 

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In semiconductor fabrication, stencil metal plates or shadow masks can be used to designate where a metal is deposited upon a substrate. The stencil serves as a medium for achieving custom designs onto a substrate without the need for photolithography processes. This works by masking certain areas of a substrate while exposing others to be deposited with metal.  

Emerging Technologies – Internet-of-Things

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Internet of things (IoT) encompasses physical things that connect and exchange data with other technology. IoT offers increased connectivity, cloud computing, machine learning, and advancements to AI. Emerging advancements in IoT include machine monitoring, wearable health monitoring, inventory management, and public safety enhancements. IoT works through device-to-device communications that is conducted through sensor technology and actuators.  

What is a Cleanroom?

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You might be thinking a cleanroom refers to an organized and tidy space. However, a certified cleanroom is much more than that. A cleanroom is a space for conducting operations that are sensitive the particle contamination, such as semiconductor fabrication. Enviornmental factors are altered in order to provide a controlled clean atmosphere. Airborne particles are filtered out while temperature, humidity, and air flow are regulated.  

Custom Dicing Service

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Platypus Technologies offers a customizable dicing service for a range of substrate materials. Accommodations can be made for both silicon wafers and glass substrates. Substrates are scribed, and then broken into individual pieces. Well-defined scribing lines are made with a diamond finished scribing wheel. This process does not involve heat therefore prevents any potential damage to a substrate material. 

Why use a Custom Metal Coating?

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A custom metal coating can be created from electron beam vapour deposition on different substrates. Various systems are available for metal deposition, but the highest purity custom metal coatings are achieved via e-beam deposition. An electron beam is the best way to achieve a thin film coating to protect your surfaces.

Creating patterns through Metal Lift-off

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Creating a patterned metal on a substrate can be done through various methods. Metal lift-off represents just one fabrication method that entails three steps: 1) patterning a photosensitive polymer film onto the target substrate, 2) metal deposition onto the patterns polymer film, and 3) removal of polymer with a solvent.  

Thin-film Metal Coatings

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As more advancements are made in the electronics industry, thin-film metal coatings remain in high demand. The team at Platypus Technologies has done custom work with a range of companies, from completing small R&D projects to creating continual partnerships. Our credibility has been built based on our internal expertise, high-quality metal deposition, and attention to detail.  

How Thin Films Factor into Surface Science

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Thin films are used in a wide range of advanced applications in surface science, and studies surrounding thin films have significantly advanced solid state chemistry and physics. Surface science relates to any surfaces, interfaces and their applications and any research or development in the field. Thin films play a large part in surface science, and this blog post aims to cover how and why.

What is Plasma Cleaning?

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Reactive gas molecules form what is known as plasma. The ions and electrons in plasma are used to remove unwanted organic contaminants. Unwanted particles are removed through a vacuum system. This cleaning procedure creates an ideal sterilization process. In addition, plasma cleaning eliminates the need for expensive solvents since substrate surfaces can be cleaned via a chemical reaction within plasma molecules.  

Applications Of Wound Healing Assays

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Wound healing assays measure cell migration over a two-dimensional (2D) monolayer. As cell migration takes place throughout numerous physiological processes, it has been studied in a variety of contexts from tissue injury, wound healing, cancer metastasis and more. Throughout the following post, we will explain the applications of wound healing assays and the importance of each.