Dip coating is a popular way of creating thin films for research purposes. Uniform films can be applied onto flat or cylindrical substrates. For industrial processes, spin coating is used more often.
The dip coating process can be separated into five stages:
- Immersion: The substrate is immersed in the solution of the coating material at a constant speed (preferably jitter-free).
- Start-up: The substrate has remained inside the solution for a while and is starting to be pulled up.
- Deposition: The thin layer deposits itself on the substrate while it is pulled up. The withdrawing is carried out at a constant speed to avoid any jitters. The speed determines the thickness of the coating (faster withdrawal gives thicker coating material).
- Drainage: Excess liquid will drain from the surface.
- Evaporation: The solvent evaporates from the liquid, forming the thin layer. For volatile solvents, such as alcohols, evaporation starts already during the deposition & drainage steps.
In the continuous process, the steps are carried out directly after each other.
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