SCK-300 Spin Coater Kit FAQS

1. What is the return policy on the Spin Coater kits?

Answer:  We will repair, or replace any Spin Coater kit within 30 days of purchase Free of Charge.  There is No Cash Refund, so you are strongly encouraged to review the SCK’s User Manual and Specifications to make certain it will fit your needs.

2. What is the biggest substrate size that can be used with the Spin Coater kits?

Answer:  The biggest substrate we recommend for use with our kits are a 3″ x 3″ (75 mm x 75 mm) square, or 4″ (100 mm) diameter.  The maximum weight of substrates should be less than 12 grams.  That said, for substrates this size, we would recommend a commercial spin coater.  Commercial units have specially designed vacuum chucks for larger substrates, not to mention you will be able to have greater control over the coating process.

3. What is the smallest substrate size that can be used with the SCK-300P Vacuum Chuck?

Answer:  The smallest substrate that can fit on the o-ring of the standard vacuum chuck is 0.75″ (20 mm in diameter or 1″ (25 mm) square.  The o-ring used in the chuck designed for small substrates can hold substrates approximately 0.5″ (12 mm) square. 

4. Why do the Spin Coater Kits look like something I could build myself?

Answer:  The design of the Spin Coater kits focuses on functionality over looks to keep cost down.  They are predominantly built using off-the-shelf components, combined with our custom firmware and hardware.  So yes, you can build one yourself; however, the real value here is that our kits saves you the Time, Know-How, and Effort to do so.   Here is a quote from University Machinist, Jeffrey G. which illustrates this point.

“The time to track down all these parts, implement ramping features in existing microcontrollers, and design and fabricate the supporting structures would ball park be around 25 hours.  This rough estimate sums to $1100 at our on-campus rates ($40/hr).  I saved at the least 10 to 15 hours getting your kit.  My costs were reduced by half and the shortened project timeline allowed me to move onto newer projects more quickly.”

Take a look these links (link1,  link2, link3) for examples of other “home-built” spin coaters which you can put together your self.

5.  Does the SCK-300 support a vacuum chuck?

Answer: Yes the SCK-300P uses a unique vacuum chuck design.  Check out the Video of the SCK-300P in action.

6. Would you recommend the SCK-300 kits for precision, or production work?

Answer: No, for precision or production work we recommend a commercial Spin Coater.

7.  Does the SCK-300 kits require a transformer outside of the US or Canada?

Answer: No, the SCK-300 comes with a universal power adapter allowing it to work with either 110V or 220V.  A plug adapter maybe required though.

8. Can the SCK-300 be used to produce high quality films using “X” coating solution?

Answer: Unfortunately, there are too many variables in the spin coating process to provide a definitive YES/NO.  This can only be determined experimentally.

9. Can a different vacuum chuck/stage be used with the SCK-300P?

Answer: No, the SCK-300P uses a unique, low-cost vacuum chuck design which is not compatible with other vacuum chucks on the market.  That said, if you have access to a machine shop, it is possible to design/install a custom chuck.

10. Could you share your experience on the stability or robustness of the controller and the mechanical construction?

Answer: The SCK-300 units are built to be fairly robust with the modular design making key components easily replaceable.  That said, if robustness is a critical factor, then a commercial spin coater would be a better option.

11. Is it possible to heat the chuck/stage and attach a temperature control unit?

Answer: No, such functionality can only be found in commercial Spin Coaters.

12. Does the SCk-300 Digital Controller use an open-loop or closed-loop method for speed control?

Answer: The Digital Controller combined with our new Motor Interface Module now uses a Closed-Loop method for speed control.

13. How much liquid can SCk-300 kits spin chamber hold?

Answer: Typically, the chamber can safely hold about 1 – 2 ml of coating solution before any leaks out.  However, since the chamber is just a CD cakebox, they can be mounted upside down to hold more solution (~10 mL).  See Video of this in action.

14. Can the SCk-300 kits be used in a Glove Box in which vacuum purging is used for equipment loading?

Answer: Yes, The SCK-300 kit has been used in a nitrogen filled Glove Box in which the purge vacuum has been used.  That said the LCD of the control module maybe damage if the purge vacuum is too much. As such, it recommended that the minimum purge vacuum be used over several cycles

15. Do you recommend any Commercial Spin Coaters?

Answer: Chemat Scientific, MTI Corporation and Laurell all have relative inexpensive entry level models.  There are also numerous lower cost models directly from China; however, the level of support you get might not be very good.  As such, you may be better of just purchasing from a known US or EU based company at the higher price point.