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Tergeo plasma systems from PIE Scientific comprise a range of high performance instruments (Tergeo, Tergeo Plus, Tergeo-EM and Tergeo Pro) to suit many applications that require a stable, reproducible plasma.  Read more about some of the these below.

Surface modification and treatment

Tergeo plasma systems efficiently remove organic surface contamination and make surfaces either hydrophilic or hydrophobic depending on the gas chemistry. Hydroxyl functional groups are very important for rendering sample surfaces hydrophilic. Whilst sample surface treatment can be achieved using many traditional process gases, such as argon, oxygen, nitrogen, CF4, and ambient air, the process actually relies mostly on the absorbed water vapour inside the plasma chamber to generate the hydroxyl functional group. If the absorbed water vapour on the plasma chamber wall or organic contamination on the sample surface is depleted or removed, the water contact angle of the processed glass slides, wafer, or metal surface will increase because there is no element H to generate OH* functional group in pure oxygen or agon plasma.

Tergeo plasma systems have a unique capability to create water vapour plasma (option A122) that deposits high-density hydroxyl functional groups on the sample surface rendering surfaces super hydrophilic. 

Tergeo plasma systems are highly versatile and can also etch the surface of plastic and other polymers to enhance the surface roughness, increase the surface energy and improve the bonding strength. 

Read more about cleaning, etching, and modifying glass, silicon, plastic, and metal surfaces. 

PDMS bonding

Tergeo plasma systems generate highly stable plasma for high uniformity. For PDMS bonding applications the pulsed mode can reliably generate weak plasmas to avoid over-oxidation of PDMS.  A minute amount of water inside the plasma chamber is essential to successful PDMS bonding. Most other plasma systems rely on the absorbed water on the chamber wall or on the sample surface to generate the hydroxyl functional groups to achieve the bonding. As well as the absorbed water on the chamber wall, the Tergeo plasma system also has a unique way to control water vapour flow using a water vapour delivery kit and achieve consistent results. The Tergeo water vapor delivery kit greatly increases the process window and improves bonding strength. Tergeo can bond PDMS to glass with a recipe time ranging from 10 seconds to 480 seconds instantly without any baking. Tergeo plasma systems can also directly bond PDMS with COC-type polymer without using surface processing chemicals. Tergeo plasma system can also be used to generate a thick layer of silica on the PDMS surface to reduce surface energy. Our testing indicates that adding water vapour into the air or oxygen plasma can greatly improve bonding strength to polymer, glass, and other substrates. With 13.56MHz RF power, the Tergeo plasma system can generate high-density plasma that can efficiently create a thick layer of silica on the PDMS surface.

Read more about PDMS/glass/COC bonding.

Photoresist Descum and Ashing

Tergeo plasma systems use highly efficient 13.56MHz RF power to generate high-intensity uniform plasmas for photoresist ashing and descum applications. Tergeo plasma systems can process a boat load of wafers with spacing 10mm and achieve good uniformity and ashing/descum speed. The ashing speed in a 150Watt Tergeo-plus system is about 230nm/minute. If higher ashing speed are required you can upgrade to the 300Watt or 500Watt RF power options.

When comparing different plasma systems, don’t just compare the total wattage because RF power wattage doesn’t correspond to the speed and efficiency of the system.

Please request the photoresist ashing speed test report from other suppliers. The unique plasma intensity sensor of Tergeo can monitor the change of the plasma emission intensity during the oxygen plasma ashing process. The by-product like COx and H2O can increase the plasma emission intensity for the pure oxygen plasma ashing process. Therefore, the user knows whether the photoresist ashing/stripping process is completed or not by monitoring the plasma emission intensity reading. The unique downstream mode can also reduce the energetic surface ion bombardment for sensitive surface coating.

Read more about photoresist ashing and descum.