• News Release

Industry’s first accurate control of liquids of 1 μl or less Developed a new technology to improve liquid drainage in containers Plasma contract processing at a new factory

Sakigake Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Representative Director: Koji Taguchi), which develops and sells plasma equipment, has developed a new special technology that improves liquid drainage and accurately controls trace amounts of liquid by processing the plasma surface of containers. By processing it into a general container, the liquid control accuracy is improved by about 2 times, and it is possible to control less than 1 μl. Compared to processing with water-repellent materials and water-repellent coating agents, it takes less time and costs less to reduce the environmental impact. We plan to start providing this technology at our new plant to be completed in July 2023, and will conduct test marketing from this month.


Plasma technology dramatically improves “liquid release”

For daily necessities such as seasonings and shampoos, dripping from the outlet of the container may dry out and harden. In R&D and production sites, the concentration and components change depending on the dripping of the liquid, so it is necessary to wipe off after filling and waste of liquid, so preventing dripping is an issue.

In addition, if the liquid drainage accuracy is low, it is difficult to measure a small amount when diluting the undiluted solution of an expensive chemical and using only a small amount, so there are production sites that make more dilution than the required amount and discard the unnecessary amount.

Eliminating dripping, improving “liquid drainage”, and accurately controlling trace amounts of liquid are issues in all situations where liquids are handled.

Sakigake Semiconductor has developed a new technology that eliminates dripping and dramatically improves “liquid release” by applying special plasma processing to the injection port of liquid containers. Since plasma treatment can be performed on ordinary containers, processing can be performed at low cost and in a short time, and droplet accuracy can be more than doubled, and even 1 μl (microliter) or less can be accurately controlled.

It is lower cost than water-repellent materials, requires less man-hours than water-repellent coating processing, and does not require waste liquid treatment.


■Experiment video


Comparison of droplet accuracy of droppers (distilled water)

The dropper after plasma treatment has improved droplet accuracy by about 2 times.


Establishment of a plasma process that improves the control accuracy of all liquids

“liquid drainage” technology utilizes the new “PE-MBF method” (*1) developed this year for “liquid drainage” applications, and is a plasma realization of SAM technology (self-assembled monolayer (SAM) membrane) used in the electronics industry. By developing a plasma process according to the viscosity and properties of the liquid, the material and shape of the container, and the required control accuracy, and establishing a technology for plasma processing of the container surface, it is possible to improve the “liquid drainage” of any liquid and improve the control accuracy.

*1 The PE-MBF Method won the 2022 Super Manufacturing Parts Award – Health, Welfare, Biotechnology, and Medical Device Parts Award.


■Started research based on the needs of the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry

We are developing equipment and processes that process the surface of an object with plasma to hydrophilize and repel water.

As the market for plasma technology expands, the semiconductor industry has been the main focus, but recently there has been a rapid increase in projects from the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. In the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, there are many needs to control trace amounts, so we have started R&D and marketing to develop plasma water repellent technology. We also found that at production sites, there are situations where workers have to wipe off dripping or dispose of excess diluted solution every time. In some cases, the container is coated with a water-repellent coating, but there are problems such as some of the coating agent mixing with the liquid.

By accurately controlling various liquids with this new technology, we hope to reduce the waste and cost of liquid products in many situations other than pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and also help reduce environmental impact. Currently, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer is verifying this technology, and we are in the process of adjusting the details of the process with the aim of contracting plasma processing of containers in the next fiscal year.


■Aiming for use in semiconductor production processes

The semiconductor industry uses liquid chemical agents in the photoresist application process. There are many sites where liquids are used in other processes as well. By improving liquid drainage, the loss of chemical agents can be reduced. In the semiconductor industry, there are many processes that use plasma technology, and accurate control is required, so we believe that there is a lot of need for our “liquid drain” technology.


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