Sep 04 2012

Surfx Unveils New Atmospheric Plasma Products


Surfx Atomflo 500

Today at SEMICON Taiwan, Surfx Technologies just released a new range of atmospheric plasma products with increased performance and additional features. Customers now have even more choices in high-speed plasma systems that can also be easily integrated into existing production environments.

Our patented downstream plasma will not expose sensitive electronics or circuits to potentially damaging electric fields. We also offer high speed LED encapsulation processes as well as solar thin film and silicon cell process solutions. Customers will gain better performance, single part traceability and increase package yield.”

The Atomflo™ 500 atmospheric plasma controller, which offers real time process feedback, argon or helium primary gas, multiple secondary gas handling and integrated machine I/O is now available from Surfx Technologies. The Atomflo 500 is an excellent fit for demanding high-throughput production applications that require direct real-time process monitoring feedback. This completely new controller design includes a touch-screen user interface, increased RF power and high-speed RF tuning, and an increased accuracy of the matching network.

surfx-spmSurfx Technologies also released the Standalone Plasma Machine (SPM) to provide customers with a turnkey system that integrates the Atomflo 500 solution into an automated, compact, multi-axis application system. The SPM includes advanced graphical motion management software (generating NC code for the motion engine), 4-axis motion with 400 x 400 x 300 mm plasma treatment volume and modular control system architecture, capable of interfacing to other systems via network communication and/or SMEMA interface.

We also launched the new Atomflo 400S, an upgrade of its popular A400 model, which can be used as a standalone R&D tool or integrated with any motion system to automate customer’s process needs. Additional process parameters and an increased controller memory for additional stored process recipes and simplified recipe management, will result in faster tuning performance for customers.

Atmospheric pressure plasmas eliminate the need for harsh chemicals or inefficient vacuum chambers that are limited to batch processes. The Atomflo atmospheric pressure plasma generates a stream of reactive gas at low temperatures so many materials can be treated, including polymers, epoxies, metals, ceramics and glass.

Jul 23 2012

Atmospheric Plasma Heading to Taiwan


 

Surfx at SAMPE 2015

Some of my colleagues are heading to SEMICON Taiwan on September 5 to 7 for a number of great opportunities to mingle with experts of microelectronics manufacturing. SEMICON Taiwan connects with the companies, people, products and information which are shaping the future of design and manufacturing for semiconductors, nanoelectronics, MEMS, Photovoltaics and related advanced electronics.

SEMICON Taiwan is one of the largest and most influential  microelectronics industry event in the region and this year is at  a new venue, the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall.

It’s going to be a great event for us, and will be unveiling a  full range of atmospheric plasma solutions for activating or  treatment of MEMS, semiconductors, nano electronics, photovoltaics, and other advanced electronic components.

Dr. Robert Hicks, will be speaking at the event about atmospheric plasma surface preparation for high-volume package manufacturing during the Innvotative Technology Series.

If you are planning a  trip out to Taiwan during that time, stop on by!

Jul 12 2012

Not All Plasma Sources Created Equally



surfx-sourcesAtmospheric pressure plasmas
 are great tools for surface treatment of materials prior to bonding, gluing, coating and other applications.

They are used in manufacturing many products ranging from stents, catheters and prosthetics for the medical device industry to large, three-dimensional composites for the aerospace industry.

Out there in the marketplace there is a bewildering array of plasma technologies for materials processing. But it’s important to recognize that atmospheric plasmas do not all perform the same way.

Not only are there multiple types of atmospheric plasma sources, but there are vacuum-based plasmas that may be used when batch treatment is convenient. In order to choose among different types, you need to know the “Figures of Merit” that govern their operation.

They are:

• Average electron temperature
• Average electron concentration
• Average neutral temperature
• Breakdown voltage
• Types of reactive gas species
• Average concentration of reactive gas species
• Remote versus direct contact with the substrate

The engineer must run tests to find out which device works best for his or her application.

Check out our application note on Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Technology by clicking here.

Jun 28 2012

Plasma Going to the Olympics?


It’s been a while.

Surfx Atmospheric Plasma Systems

Time just seems to be flying by right now. I find out at the end of June whether we have been selected to represent our country at the Olympic Games. It has been a very emotionally and physically testing battle over the last 2 years to gain enough points and get the right results to satisfy the criteria.

Since I spoke to you last I have been globetrotting, starting in April I have been in Brazil, Poland, China twice (Shanghai and Beijing), F

rance and we finished in Prague last month where we didn’t have the greatest result in the last two years, but we do still hold the claim to the best finish that any British men’s team has ever achieved, and that came last year in Canada. Since then I have been back at the Surfx office in southern California. There are some exciting times ahead for our atmospheric plasma system and it has made for a busy schedule, with training, working and all the media commitments that are arising being so close to the Olympics.

Well I will certainly update you all once I have found out the federations decision.  Until next week!

Gregg Weaver
May 08 2012

Atmospheric Plasma On the Move


Engineering Support

Engineering Support

The demand for our Atomflo Plasma System solutions, which directs a powerful gas beam onto components and treats them in seconds, has pushed our operational needs into a bigger space and a new location. The extra space and new location give us the opportunity to grow our services and products as the business and interest grows in our company.

The advantage of atmospheric plasmas is their ease of use, cost effectiveness, and ability to continuously treat materials of any size and shape. Furthermore, the reactive gas flows out of the plasma source and around and through complex parts, such as MEMS. The Atomflo™ is unique in that it is a particle-free plasma source, and generates significantly less particle contamination than vacuum plasmas. Our process is cleanroom compatible, particle free, and will not damage surfaces. The plasma gas flows through channels and cavities, activating all interior surfaces uniformly.

We are now at 2631 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, California. You can still reach us on 310-558-0770 and info@surfxtechnologies.com.

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May 03 2012

The Beach in the Woods


The event in Poland is always a crazy one. Poland, as a country, is crazy for volleyball in general but they hold the event in the strangest place. It feels like you are in the middle of a farmer’s field in the middle of Poland. There is nothing around and then this 5000 seater stadium pops out of nowhere in the middle of a field!

It’s is definitely not the glamourous beach volleyball location that everyone thinks about, it is always cold and normally wet. Last week it was actually snowing and 0 degrees C! Luckily it warmed up to about 10C for the tournament.

We were drawn against a good team from Belarus and again new we would have to be sharp to get the job done. We came out winners 21-15 21-10. This meant we would play the 8th seeded Norwegian team, they came out firing and we battled with them all the way but ended up on the wrong end of the result. We were dissapointed with the outcome but pleased with the overall result as we had out performed all the other British teams, which helps us with our qualification for the Olympics.

We now head off to China; it will be a long couple of days for me. I leave here at 10pm Wednesday night PST and land on Thursday night at 8pm PST after transferring in Frankfurt and Denver. I then leave on Saturday at 1pm for Shanghai.

This gives me a Friday to help Surfx with our move to the new facility, which is very exciting times for us. We are growing as a company and expanded the possibilities for our customers. I will also be able to see my family which is always nice.

Until Next Time, Gregg Weaver

Apr 23 2012

Atmospheric Plasma – Brazil?


Well that was a hard week at the “office”.

I am currently in Brasilia, for the first of our Olympic qualifying events of the year. We got here on Sunday morning at 8am via Miami. The flights were good; having status on American Airlines has its perks as I got a free upgrade. Makes sitting on a plane for 8 hours slightly more enjoyable!

Surfx Atmospheric Plasma Systems

The weather has been ridiculous since we arrived on Sunday, at least 85 degrees and humid. It makes the preparation and recovery all the more important when you know how much fluid and nutrients you are losing in a 2 hour session!! That being said, parts of Brazil have some amazing restaurants and they certainly know how to cook a steak. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the area of Brasilia that we are in. Trying to find the right combination of foods in a mall food court is always an interesting challenge. One thing they do well is Acai; I can safely say I have had my fair share of antioxidants!!

This has been the first time that I have been away with volleyball but also still working for Surfx via email and Skype. It has been a challenge but I have found it is all in the preparation for each day, set myself goals both for the volleyball and gym sessions and for Surfx related work. The Surfx work has also provided me a much needed ‘break’ from the volleyball. As you can imagine it gets pretty intense when there are over 80 teams trying to prepare and train for the first Olympic qualifier of the year.

Our tournament officially starts on Wednesday morning, and you play until you have lost one game. We organize our week so that we have gym and volleyball sessions on Monday and Tuesday morning, then we are ready to fire up come Wednesday morning. Our sessions went well and we were excited to get the season started. Wednesday rolled around and we had been given a fairly tough draw. We knew if we implemented what we had been working on in pre-season we would be tough to beat. We had a good day but eventually lost to a team from Poland who are junior European champions 23-21 in the third game (volleyball is played best of three games, first two games are to 21 points the third is first to 15 point, but you have to win by 2, I hope that makes some kind of sense!) losing always sucks, and we had a goal for this tournament that we were very close to achieving but couldn’t quite get there.

This means we fly back to LA on Thursday, we land at 9pm. Friday will be a busy day for me, morning gym session followed by a full day in the office to continue with my goals for Surfx, then a volleyball session in the evening. All of this before I leave for Poland at 5pm on Saturday for the second of the Olympic qualifiers.

Busy couple of days for me ahead, losing sucks but I am excited to be going home to see my wife and three boys, watching them run at the computer on Skype shouting ” dada, dada” just isn’t quite the same.

Thank you all for the support, until next time.

Gregg Weaver

Apr 16 2012

Race to 2012 Olympics Begins (with Surfx)


Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Gregg Weaver; I have been playing beach volleyball for Great Britain on the FIVB
international beach volleyball tour now since 2007. Up until July 2010 the federation fully funded my expenses related to playing beach volleyball full time, we had a great facility and staff based in Bath, England. Unfortunately due to the economy there were funding cuts and the entire men’s beach volleyball program lost its funding. No more facility, no more coach, no more travel expenses.

My wife and I chose that the best move we could make would be to move our family which at the time was myself, my wife and our 18 month old son would move back to Los Angeles, CA (which is where we met in 2005) where my wife would resume her career as a teacher and I would be a full time dad, and train on the beaches of California with some of the best players in the world. This seemed like it was going to work out perfectly.

Again budget cuts cased our plans to change in August 2011, this time it was my wife who was having her job taken away by the lack of school funding. Unfortunately for us she was the last in which usually means first out. This left us with a couple of tough decisions, and on more than one occasion we thought that the dream of going to the Olympics was over and that we would have to move to the mid-west where we could be closer to my wives family until we could find ourselves some employment.

With my engineering background I had been applying for technician and engineering jobs all over the LA area. I was lucky enough to get a job offer as an Account Executive from a very dynamic and ambitious company which was based in the LA area, Surfx Technologies.

Surfx Technologies has been extremely supportive of my need for flexibility in regards to my training and travelling. They are very excited to support me while I am pursuing my dream of representing my country at the 2012 London Olympics. Even if it does mean that I will be working while sat in my hotel room in various countries around the world.

I have a hectic couple of months ahead of me, this time next week I will be in Brasilia, Brazil for the first of seven Olympic qualifying events. Our best six results from these seven events will determine if my playing partner Jody Gooding and I can beat out our competition for the right to be walking in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

I will be blogging throughout the coming months about the trials and tribulations of Olympic qualification, you can also follow my progress on twitter: Greggweaver062, Facebook:-Gooding/Weaver Team GB beach volleyball, or on our website GBbeachboys.com

Until next time.

Gregg Weaver

Mar 30 2012

Generating Plasma


We’ve been asked many times, what hardware is used to create plasma.

First, you must apply an electrical field to the gas to generate a plasma. In a vacuum chamber, where the ions and electrons have long lifetimes, it is relatively easy to do this. Radio frequency power can be applied to two metal plates immersed in the vessel creating a capacitive discharge. Alternatively, RF power may be deposited into a coil mounted on the chamber walls, thereby producing an inductively coupled plasma. The gas also may be ionized by application of microwave power at 2.45 GHz to a specially designed cavity or horn.

In an atmospheric plasma, a variety of power supplies may be used from DC to RF. The challenge is to design the electrodes and gas flow to yield intimate contact between the reactive gases and the substrate. At high pressure, the atoms and radicals are quickly consumed by collisions in the gas, so the transit time from the plasma to the surface must be short. If one wishes to achieve low temperature operation with atmospheric plasmas, then special precautions must be taken to prevent arcing between the electrodes.

A wide variety of plasma tools are available today, reflecting the broad spectrum of materials applications being tackled by these remarkable products. To the end user, the choices can be bewildering, making the task of product selection challenging at best. We encourage you to contact Surfx Technologies so that our engineers may assist you with the selection process.

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