Temperature Control During Plasma Treatment

Temperature control is the single most important parameter when planning your plasma cleaning or etching process. Temperature not only controls the etch rate but also has a secondary effect on the uniformity of the etch you accomplish. Higher temperatures etch faster, but too high of temperatures can cause de-lamination, distortion, or discoloration. Temperatures that are excessively high can even chemically modify the properties of the treated surface.

For example, rubber is often treated with oxygen plasma to create a slippery coating. This coating prevents the rubber products from jamming in manufacturing equipment. The plasma treatment effects are generally temporary, but caution must be taken when planning the treatment process.  If the rubber is treated for too long, or too hot, surface modification can occur and permanently modify the surface so that it may not be bondable.

Temperature control is often used to increase the temperature to increase the etch rate.  Temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Celsius are popular for etching applications and can cut etch times by up to a factor of 4.  The same temperature control systems can also be employed to lower the temperature of any plasma treatment.  Plasma etching can occur down to about 15 degrees Celsius for parts that are temperature sensitive or use temperature sensitive inks and dyes.

Advantages of temperature control

  • Etch rates are consistent and repeatable due to temperature and time being regulated.
  • Etch rates may be accelerated due to temperature uniformity.
  • Temperatures are constant throughout the plasma sequence.
  • Start and stop systems do not require any temperature stabilization buffers.
  • Temperature control is independent of the plasma process on all temperature controlled Plasma Etch systems.

Plasma Etch plasma treatment systems are available with either heating or heating and cooling controls.   All of our temperature control systems are controlled automatically by software, and settings are saved with each plasma recipe for easy replication of your process.  Our software provides enhanced uniformity, even when using your machine to perform other tasks in between batches.

Please contact a plasma expert at (775) 883-1336 if you have any additional questions.

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