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Slot-Die Coating Introduction and FAQ

Posted by MSE Supplies Admin on

1.    What is Slot-Die Coating?

Slot-Die Coating is a highly scalable technique for depositing thin and uniform material films with minimal waste and low operational cost. It was invented in the 1950’s by Eastman Kodak Co. for the production of photographic films. Since then, it has seen widespread adoption in industrial manufacturing of electronics, packaging, pharmaceuticals and most recently, lithium batteries.


Slot-Die Coating works by dissolving the desired thin film material into a coatable solution. This solution is pumped into the Slot-Die Head component, where it becomes uniformly spread along the desired coating width. This results in controlled, continuous thin film production at the Slot-Die outlet, where the solution is received by a moving substrate. Because all of the solution that exits the Slot-Die ends up on the substrate, an optimized Slot-Die Coating process affords nearly 100% material efficiency.

MSE Supplies LLC is the designated distributor of FOM Technologies in North America. Learn more about the slot die coating machines made by FOM Technologies, click here.

For a short introductory video on the basics of Slot-Die Coating, we encourage you to view our Discover Slot-Die Coating by FOM Technologies animation on YouTube.

2.    What are the benefits of Slot-Die Coating in thin film research?

Slot-Die Coating has historically been used in industrial roll-to-roll settings due to its precision, reliability and viability for large scale output. It is only recently that traditionally large Slot-Die production machines have been scaled down for use in a laboratory research setting, where spin coating and blade coating are conventionally applied. Slot-Die Coating therefore offers a number of new and exciting benefits for users at the R&D scale, including:

  • Excellent thickness control: Slot-Die Coating is a “pre-metered” coating. This means that the thickness of the coated layer can effectively be calculated and “pre-programmed” by selecting the correct pump rate and coating speed. This provides significantly improved predictability and control of coating thickness compared to conventional lab-scale methods. 
  • Accelerated commercial viability: Slot-Die Coating is precise and flexible enough to be used as a standard coating technique in fundamental materials R&D. At the same time, it is innately scalable to large-area coatings and easily compatible with established roll-to-roll production techniques. This provides inherent commercial credibility to lab-scale research that has been developed with Slot-Die hardware, as fundamental materials research and commercial process optimization are coupled together in the experimental process. 
  • Unmatched flexibility: The range of substrates, materials, layer thicknesses and coating parameters that can be used in Slot-Die Coating is simply unmatched by comparable lab-scale techniques such as Spin Coating and Blade Coating. At the same time, Slot-Die Coating is gentle on the coating fluid and resilient against external sources of error such as substrate In terms of hardware, FOM Technologies Slot-Die tools can be easily customized with modular modifications to exert further control over specific process parameters such as heating, drying, liquid shear and more. 
  • Boosted output, reduced spending and waste: Slot-Die Coating is a continuous process that is capable of coating up to hundreds of meters per minute with nearly complete material Comparatively, Spin Coating is a slow, wasteful batch process, while Blade Coating lacks the precision and flexibility of Slot-Die. Simply put, this means that Slot-Die Coating provides an optimal combination of sample quality, sample output and material spending among comparable lab-scale coating techniques. 

The full FAQ document (a PDF file) can be downloaded here.

 

MSE Supplies LLC is the designated distributor of FOM Technologies in North America. Learn more about the slot die coating machines made by FOM Technologies, click here.


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