MicroTech Systems, Inc. Engineering Wet Process Solutions

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Surface Tension Gradient Dryer (STG)

MicroTech Announces Particle and Metal Contamination Results for Surface Tension Gradient Dryer (Marangoni Dryer or IPA Vapor Dryer)

Results show 40% fewer defects and dramatically reduced metals

For complete details and to see comparison data from 2008 and 2012, please contact MicroTech System. To view the Gradient Dryer data sheet, please click the Download Product Data Sheet button.

Marangoni Drying (or IPA Vapor Drying) with No Watermarks

The Gradient Dryer uses the difference between the surface tension of H2O and IPA to produce a gradient that generates fast and effective substrate drying.

Surface tension gradient drying – often called Marangoni drying or IPA vapor drying – yields substrates that are watermark-free with low particle counts and no feature damage. Since there are no metallic components inside the dryer chamber, charge damage is virtually eliminated. There are no moving parts in the Gradient Dryer, and the elimination of spin drying dramatically reduces breakage, especially critical for today’s thinner substrates.

Particle Data SPC 2012 - MicroTech


Besides the elimination of watermarks on hydrophilic, hydrophobic and combination films, surface tension drying provides other benefits. This drying method does not place any mechanical stresses on the substrate. The technique works well on practically any flat substrate. No surfactants are necessary to change the substrate properties to enhance drying performance. Compared to traditional vapor dryers, Gradient Dryer dryers consume very little IPA. When integrated with cleaning and rinsing, this tool can provide a one-step process for such applications as the fabrication and cleaning of ICs, solar cells, fuel cells, MEMS and disk drives.

Marangoni Dryer      STG

The Gradient Dryer processes a batch of 25 or 50 wafers in ~10-15 minutes depending on configuration. The dryers are configurable to accept one or two cassettes from 150mm to 300mm and can be produced as stand-alone units or integrated into wet processing stations. 

Metal Contamination Analysis Chart - MT Systems 

Download more detailed information about: Surface Tension Gradient Dryer (Marangoni Dryer or IPA Vapor Dryer)

Main Benefits

  • No watermarks
  • Very low particle counts
  • No substrate breakage
  • No moving parts
  • No feature damage (no spin drying)
  • Excellent for high aspect ratio structures
  • No charge damage
  • Reduces chemical consumption
  • Cost savings through improved cycle times & reduced maintenance
  • Excellent alternative to spin rinser dryer


  • Automatic, high-volume single or dual cassette configurations
  • Adaptable for silicon, disk drive and other applications
  • Available as stand-alone unit or integrated into wet benches
  • Programmable processing recipes
  • User-friendly software with touch screen interface
  • No exposed metal components


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