Fabricate, Deposit and Characterize Thin Films with KSV NIMA
The KSV NIMA line of instruments is used for fabrication and characterization of advanced organized molecular thin films with controlled packing density.
KSV NIMA has the widest selection of Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett Troughs of various sizes and functions. The trough systems are modular with one frame capable of fitting multiple trough tops. The result is interchangeable solutions depending on the application. Custom troughs are also available upon request.
The Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett techniques have unique advantages:
- Precise control of molecular packing density
- Precise control of coating thickness
- Homogenous deposition over large areas
- Potential for multi-layer structures with varying layer composition
- Flexibility studying different material and substrate combinations
- Unique method to deposit nanoparticles or nanomateirals onto surfaces
- Coating quality can be premonitored prior to deposition.
Coatings and thin films made from nanoparticles have many applications and uses. This includes displays, sensors, medical devices, energy storage and energy harvesting. It is able to achieve a homogeneous coating while optimizing packing density, particle organization, and film thickness.
Create thin films at the air-liquid or liquid-liquid interface. Measure surface pressure-area isotherms to determine monolayer compressibility, molecular orientations and area per molecule at various stages of compression. Use cyclic compression or constant surface pressure to investigate monolayer stability. Subphase injection/vapor exposure allows probing adsorption dynamics.
Fabricate thin films and transfer to a substrate via either Langmuir-Blodgett (vertical) or Langmuir-Shaefer (horizontal) deposition. Controlling the surface pressure of the transfer gives exquisite control over the packing density of the resulting film.
Deposit coatings by dipping your substrate into a liquid and removing. These automated and accurate thin film deposition instruments feature a wide range of models to choose from depending on the size of the sample and the number of liquids to be used. Especially useful for sol-gel and nanoparticle coatings.
- The KSV NIMA troughs are composed of single-piece solid PTFE trough tops (that include the dipping well) which enable easy cleaning without any contaminating glues or coatings.
- The adjustable legs, trough top locating pins, barrier limit switches and overflow channels ensure safe and reliable use of the system. The legs are removable for easy integration with microscopes.
- Designed with an integrated casing for all sensitive parts, ensuring robustness and long-term usage.
- Uses standardized Wilhelmy method with a platinum plate for surface pressure sensing with its ultra-sensitive pressure sensor.
- There is also the option of disposable paper plates (for easy cleaning) or platinum rods (for limited space).
- Powerful KSV NIMA LB software integrates all controls and data analysis into the same software.
- All troughs come with integrated temperature control channels that can use a separate bath circulator.
- Specialized characterization tools assure layer quality before and after the coating process.
- Open modular design with simple trough top and barrier placement enables easy integration with characterization systems, upgradeability and easy cleaning of parts.
- It also allows studies of liquid-liquid interface and the alternate system to coat two different materials in alternating layers in a single experiment.
- Availability of a wide range of accessories such as pH probes, different Wilhelmy plates, injection ports, etc.
Coatings and thin films made from nanoparticles are gaining recognition in products and applications. These include displays, sensors, medical devices, energy storages, and energy harvesting. The KSV NIMA Nanoparticle Deposition creates superior graphene and nanoparticle coatings with controlled particle packing density with ease.
Sophisticated Thin Film Technology
The performance and efficiency for these applications are dependent on the coating characteristics. Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) and Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) are some of the most sophisticated techniques for creating thin films and coatings of nanoparticles. In the case of Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) deposition, the sample moves vertically through the monolayer. In the Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) method, the sample moves to the interface horizontally. The film is created by depositing material on an aqueous subphase confined in a shallow chamber called trough top. The monolayer compresses with the help of a set of barriers.
The surface pressure and the packing density controls the pressure sensor of the Langmuir Trough.
Characterize Thin Films
The combination of a Brewster Angle Microscope (BAM) and the LB or LS instrument enables visualization and observation of the nanoparticle layer. The analysis occurs before deposition to ensure optimal quality of the coating. Analyzing the layer structure and film homogeneity before deposition saves measurement time and enables better coatings.
MicroBAM (Brewster Angle Microscope) enables visualization of monolayers, typically at the air-water interface in a Langmuir Trough.
By detecting changes in the refractive index of the water surface in the presence of surfactant molecules, MicroBAM provides information on homogeneity, phase behavior and film morphology without the need for any external agents such as fluorescent dyes which could interfere with the Langmuir layer.
The KSV NIMA Interfacial Shear Rheometer (ISR) is an advanced characterization instrument for studying the viscoelasticity of Langmuir films.
The KSV NIMA Surface Potential Sensor (SPOT) is used for determining molecular orientation changes in Langmuir films. Together with the surface pressure sensor included in all KSV NIMA Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett Troughs, it gives an in-depth view of the Langmuir monolayer interactions.