Spin coating of thin and ultrathin polymer films

David B. Hall*, Patrick Underhill, John M. Torkelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

434 Scopus citations


The spin coating of thin (> 200 nm thick) and ultrathin (< 200 nm thick) polymer films is examined in several solvents of varying volatility over a broad range of polymer solution concentrations and spin speeds. Experimentally measured film thicknesses are compared with a simple model proposed by Bornside, Macosko, and Scriven, which predicts film thickness based on the initial properties of the polymer solution, solvent, and spin speed. This model is found to predict film thickness values within 10% over the entire range of conditions explored, which gave film thicknesses from 10 nm to 33 μm. The model underpredicts film thickness for cases in which a very volatile solvent is used or the initial concentration of polymer is high, while overpredicting film thickness for cases in which a low volatility solvent is used or the initial polymer concentration is very low. These deviations are a consequence of how the model decouples fluid flow and solvent evaporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2039-2045
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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