Multi-axis spin coating creates new manufacturing opportunities

What do smartphone displays, solar cells and electronic circuit boards have in common? 


Spin coating is the cornerstone of many industrial processes, and therefore, the ability to adapt it to curved surfaces could disrupt a range of technologies in fields such as optics, micro-technologies, and medical implants. Currently, the spin coating is proficient on flat surfaces that leads to an uneven film thickness on curved ones.

Now, an international team of scientists led by University of Canterbury (UC) Mechanical Engineering Professor Mathieu Sellier has extended the applicability of spin coating to deliver a low cost, effective and reliable way to coat objects with rounded surfaces.

Their new technology can effectively revolutionize the way certain products are designed and manufactured. Moreover, it is expected to pave the way for the creation of curved solar cells.

The idea originated in the kitchen while making pancakes. Scientists even showed that there are optimal controls for the pan to make a perfect pancake.

Professor Sellier said, “This is a good example of why curiosity-driven research should be encouraged because it can lead to unforeseen ideas and applications.”

The team, including UC Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Shayne Gooch, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Bimolecular Interaction Centre Dr. Volker Nock and Ecole Polytechnique (Paris, France) Assistant Professor Edouard Boujo, won a $20,000 grant from Jumpstart 2018 to validate and develop their idea further.