The Jelight UVO cleaner is a tool for removing organic surface contaminants from pre-cleaned samples by placing them at proximity of ozone producing UV source.
The system uses a low pressure mercury vapor grid lamp that emits at 184.9nm and 253.7nm:
- Upon radiation at 184.9nm, atmospheric molecular oxygen O2 partly dissociated to form atomic oxygen O and to generate some ozone O3.
- The 253.7nm UV decomposes ozone O3 and produces some extra high-energy O* activated atomic oxygen.
The cleaning method is called photosensitized oxidation process: UV-generated atomic oxygen O and ozone O3 oxidize and remove contaminants from exposed surfaces.
Oxidization process on polymers surface produces radical carbon sites. Hydroxyls and carboxyls are also very likely to be present on the surface after the treatment. These surface characteristics are known to promote adhesion of subsequent deposition.
The UVO cleaning or surface activation treatment is effective on organics, but does not affect inorganic materials. Examples of applications are:
- Substrate cleaning or descuming prior to thin film deposition
- Cleaning of wafers, lenses, mirrors, panels…
- Improving adhesion of coatings on plastics
- Increasing hydrophilic characteristics of surfaces