Cleaning Process Shows Increased Performance on Micromachined Parts

Vacuum cycling nucleation (VCN) is a technology being used to enhance the transfer of material to or from the surface of a solid. The process is accomplished by reducing the total pressure in a controlled environmental chamber containing a part submerged in a liquid, to below the vapor pressure of the liquid.

Related Topics:

Vacuum cycling nucleation (VCN) by Vacuum Processing Systems is a technology being used to enhance the transfer of material to or from the surface of a solid. The process is accomplished by reducing the total pressure in a controlled environmental chamber containing a part submerged in a liquid, to below the vapor pressure of the liquid.

The process results in the formation of vapor bubbles at the solid part’s surface where typically nucleation sites for bubble formation can be found in the form of imperfections, crevices or foreign particle material. Since boiling vapor bubbles form at surface crevices and imperfections, the vacuum nucleation bubbles are selective by nucleating at particles on the surface, thus enhancing particle detachment from the surface. When the bubbles are collapsed, the imploding bubble releases a large amount of localized energy. The growing and collapsing of bubbles is repeated approximately 60 times per minute by modulating the vacuum and pressure cycle. 

The VCN process can be used with aqueous or solvent chemistry. Although the process is surface active, it has shown itself to be non-damaging to part surfaces.