Plasma Applications

Please see the various application links on the right of this page.

Plasma treatment is a process by which the surface of a material is modified in some way through the actions of the dissociated molecular components of a gas. Gas plasma treatment provides a fast, efficient method of surface modification and cleaning for: wire bonding, die attach, encapsulation, conformal coating, printing and other processes. Plasma processing increases wetability, improves lubricity, enhances bonding and adhesion strength, promotes underfill adhesion and enables deposition of bio-compatible materials.

For etching and cleaning processes, unwanted material is removed from the surface of the substrate using a relatively high energy plasma. Glow Research plasma systems can also be used for surface activation processes, where the first several molecular layers of the material are altered by different gas groups increasing the surface energy of the material.

The Glow Research Systems are used in:

  • Materials Science
  • Microfluidics
  • MEMS
  • Optics
  • Microscopy
  • Polymer Science
  • Biomedical
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing
  • Optical
  • Contact lens
  • Hydrophilic surface treatment

Common materials used are:

  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Polymers
  • Plastics
  • Biomaterials
  • Semiconductors
  • Ceramics
  • Composites
  • Cleans, activates prior to printing or bonding prior to coating, laminating or deposition processes
  • Improves electroosmotic flow (EOF)
  • And many other materials

Plasma Cleaning of Gold

The University of Central Florida (UCF) has a AutoGlow plasma system and the Glow Research system is mentioned in this paper: Passsive Hydrogen Senors Using Orthogonal Frequency Coded Acoustic Wave Devices.  A in-situ film resistivity sensor was developed using a parallel electrode resistor.  On page 10: Jacqueline H. Hines PhD – ASR&D PI Donald C. Malocha, PhD – […]

Plasma Cleaning of Carbon Nanotube Surfaces

Plasma Cleaning of Carbon Nanotube Surfaces The importance of using a plasma cleaning system that generates oxygen radicals (OR) is mentioned in the research below.  Contact Glow Research for more details on systems that fit this requirement. Non-Destructive Cleaning of Carbon Nanotube Surfaces:: Removal of Organic Contaminants and Chemical Residue with Oxygen Radicals Mihail […]

Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) Basics

Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) Basics A disadvantage of wet etching is the undercutting caused by the isotropy–lateral etching at the same rate as the vertical etch.  The purpose of dry etching is to create an anisotropic etch – meaning that the etch is directional.  An anisotropic etch is critical for good pattern transfer.  RIE etching is a standard method of […]

ICP Plasma Source

  Glow Research Inductively Coupled Plasma Source (ICP) with RF Matching Network (Matching Network not pictured) ·       Custom designed to interface with various plasma systems ·       Over 60 ICP/RF matching sources have been shipped to date ·       Production proven RF matching network is the key to our  success with this ICP source Advantages and Benefits of ICP […]

End Point Detection for Plasma Processing

End Point Detection for Plasma Processing The Glow Research Optical sensor (with numeric display) system is commonly used to determine when the etching process is complete…and then manually terminate the plasma process.  Such endpoint detection does not require that the specific emitting species be identified, only that the spectral feature change intensity when the etch […]

Plasma Descum

Plasma Descumming:  This procedure is used to remove thin residual layers of photoresist areas following photoresist development.  These residual films are typically less than 1,000 Angstroms thick, but can interfere significantly in resolving the pattern during etching, especially if the pattern geometries are small (such as contact windows).  A plasma descumming can generally remove these […]

Plasma Clean prior to Deposition

This paper was written by individuals from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel: See 2.1  Thin Film Preparation: Si (100) substrates (1 cm x 1cm) samples were sonicated in ethyl acatate for 5 min., and then processed in an oxygen plasma system (AutoGlow, Glow Research, USA) for 3 min at 100 W.  Samples were then etched […]

Oxygen plasma treatment–strong bond for PDMS

From the Godin Lab, University of Ottawa, Canada: To assure a strong bond between PDMS layers, oxygen plasma treatment is necessary. This can be done using the Godin:Protocols/Glow Research Auto Glow. This surface treatment is known to have a very short duration, that is to say that both surfaces must quickly be brought into contact […]

Plasma cleaning prior to deposition

Please see page 10 of this paper: (parallel electrode resistor, PER) specifications are as follows • Electrode Material: Gold • Bus bar dimensions: 5mm x 5mm x 0.18μm • Electrode Material: Gold • Separation between electrodes: 0.3mm • Substrate: 3″ ST Quartz wafers Gold was chosen as the electrode material due to its slow […]

Plasma Bonding for Microfluidics (patent)

Glass cover slides were bonded using the AutoGlow plasma system. Raindance Patent:  (under Microfluidics at the last section of this patent) Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) (Sylgard® 184, Dow Corning, Midland, Mich.) chips were molded from the negative masters within mold housings of custom design. Glass cover slides were permanently bonded to the fluidic side of the […]

PDMS…O2 Plasma, 40 watts

From page 2 of this paper:  From the Carolina Workshop on Force Measurement and Manipulation in Biological Microscopy Sealing the Channel with a Glass Coverslip If necessary, clean two coverslips and the PDMS channel with isopropanol, rinse with deionized water, and dry with a stream of nitrogen. Keep them free from oils and dust. […]

Graphene–plasma conditioning of Substrate Plasma cleaned samples were exposed to oxygen plasma (AutoGlow Plasma System, Glow Research) for 10-30 min. at 200 watts power and 0.5 torr. See page #8.  

Plasma Surface Modification for DNA Research (Hydrophilic)

The AutoGlow quartz chamber plasma cleaning system was used in this paper to make the surface hydrophilic, principally through removal of organic contaminants from the nanopore surface.  Other methods involve using wet chemistry (Piranha or Nanostrip wet chemistry).  As stated in this paper: “Both of these approaches necessitate the use of extremely corrosive solutions, that […]

PDMS fabrication using O2 plasma

From: Electronic Supplementary Material (ESI) for Lab on a Chip  This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012 Microfluidic cell volume sensor with tunable sensitivity by: Jason Riordon, Maryam Mirzaei and Michel Godin Please go to: The AutoGlow system was used in the fabrication of PDMS devices…”Electrodes and PDMS devices were exposed […]

Plasma Processing, General Process Information

General Process Information THE PLASMA PROCESS: AN OVERVIEW A gas plasma consists of a collection of ions, free radicals, and electrons produced when a gas is transformed to a high energy, excited state by exposure to an energy source under the right physical conditions.  Natural plasma examples include lightning, fire, and the Aurora. Plasma treatment […]

Plasma Treatment of Contact Lens

Using the OptiGlow Plasma Treatment for Contact Lens (this is a summary….for complete report and tables contact Glow Research)   The Glow Research OptiGlow plasma system was used for increasing the wetability of gas permeable contact lens using room air as the processing gas. Specifications/measurement and acceptance criteria Wetting Angle Measurement* Wetting angle must be […]

Plasma Removal of NCP Encapsulant to reveal Copper Pillars

Removing Non-Conductive Paste Encapsulant to reveal Copper Pillars with the OptiGlow ACE plasma system The following data and graph shows before and after results: In Summary: -The epoxy encapsulant material was most definitely removed by the OptiGlow ACE plasma etching system -Approximately 20 microns were etched away -No other obvious adverse effects to the part were […]

Plasma Photoresist Descum

Plasma Descumming:  This procedure is used to remove thin residual layers of photoresist areas following photoresist development.  These residual films are typically less than 1,000 Angstroms thick, but can interfere significantly in resolving the pattern during etching, especially if the pattern geometries are small (such as contact windows).  A plasma descumming can generally remove these […]

RIE removal of Encapsulant

Using the OptiGlow ACE  RIE/Plasma system to remove mold compound from packaged IC devices with copper interconnect or copper wire bonded devices. Plasma and Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) have been used to etch various films in the semiconductor industry from over 40 years.  Using a combination of reactor configurations (RIE, plasma),  along with use of the […]

Plasma for Asbestos Analysis

Low temperature ashing is an effective means of preparing samples for a wide variety of analytical methods.  For example, it is recommended by the EPA for preparing asbestos samples for analysis by microscopy.  Oxygen plasma gently oxidizes organic material at low temperatures leaving inorganics such as asbestos structurally intact.  Samples such as plant or animal […]

Plasma Cleaning Prior to Wire Bonding

Wire Bonding and Gold Bump Flip Chip Plasma technology is often characterized as a “dry” cleaning process, using ionized gases in vacuum chambers.  Typically these oxides are  very  thin, and if left on bond pads, could  contribute to bond strength degradation in both wire bonding and gold bump flip chip applications.  Plasma etching can remove […]

Plasma Applications

Other applications include sample preparation for electron microscopy,  treatment of polymer surfaces to improve adhesion,  removal of photoresist on semiconductor wafers, and surface preparation prior to vacuum film evaporation for special coatings. The plasma created is a partially ionized complex gas composed of electrons, ions, free radicals, photons of various energies and gas atoms. The […]

Plasma Removal of Photoresist

Several Glow Research systems can be used to remove (or strip) photo resist.  The most common system used is the quartz chamber AutoGlow system. Photoresist Stripping: This procedure in Glow Research systems is safe, fast and clean compared to wet-stripping methods.  In the stripping of photoresist using an oxygen plasma the following conditions are typical:  75 to […]

Plasma for Failure Analysis

Oxygen and CF4 plasma are used in failure analysis to remove passivization layers including silicon nitride, silicon dioxide, polyimide and oxynitride. The OptiGlow ACE can be used for removing plastic encapsulation for failure analysis applications.  Plasma is a safe, non-destructive process which does not damage interconnection patterns, lead bonds or the device itself. We have had recent success–with […]

Plasma Cleaning

Plasma cleaning of thin film and thick film hybrid circuits with Argon is a safe and effective way to remove epoxy bleed out, baked photoresist, solder flux, or other organic contaminants. Plasma cleaning improves wire bond strength and will increase yield and throughput. In fact, documented test have shown up to a 70% decrease in […]