Combinatorial Science - Coating Deposition
Coating depositions are conducted on a Symyx® bench top unit that can generate coating films using casting or drawdown methods. The unit features 12 mini blenders for high shear mixing of materials with short working times. This allows for reactive components to be added just before the films are formed. Liquid coatings and reagents are transferred using 1ml positive displacement tips and can be positioned in heated and magnetically stirred bays. Microtiter format substrates are delivered to the system with a Velocity 11 BenchCel 4xTM for coating deposition. Standard 4x8 inch flat panel substrates can also be accommodated by the addition of a template.
A second deposition station is also available for film formation. This system is set up to handle the 4x6 array library format and will generate a 24 element array of coating “patches” applied to panels made of metal, glass, plastic or wood. The system is designed to accept 4” x 8” standard test panels.
The liquid coating is applied to the substrate using a disposable pipette, and then a doctor blade spreads the coating into a film. The gap of the doctor blade can be adjusted to yield different wet film thicknesses (up to 8 mils) and is automatically cleaned and dried between applications. Once cured, the coatings can be evaluated for surface energy, corrosion protection, abrasion resistance, biofouling, adhesion, color and gloss.
Thicker films up to 1,000 microns can be prepared using one of several multi-well aluminum panels developed at NDSU. Coatings are dispensed into the wells until a target volume is reached and leveled through vibration. These thicker films are particularly useful for measuring the coatings foul-release characteristics of macro-scale marine organisms such as barnacles.