Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Colnatec technology will change the economics of OLED manufacturing


Heated, self-cleaning sensors provide unlimited production runs for thin film applications

Gilbert AZ— November 6, 2012 – Arizona-based Colnatec LLC demonstrated at a respected research lab in Europe the world's first ultra-high flux OLED deposition sensor for high-speed, continuous run manufacturing. This ground-breaking system registers milligram-per-second rates over one million times the current quartz crystal microbalance limit. The sensor promises to dramatically change the economics of OLED thin film manufacturing.

Using the Colnatec "Tempe", a heated, self-cleaning sensor, in combination with the “Eon” deposition controller, and the “HT" high temperature quartz crystal, Colnatec engineers created a sensor impervious to deposition loads, benefiting OLED manufacturers with the ability to maintain continuous runs over extended periods of time, ultimately resulting in higher yields and radically decreased operating costs.

Until now, manufacturers had to contend with reading fast at slow deposition rates or coating fast with no deposition measurement, resulting in lower total yield. The Colnatec sensor can measure as fast as a vapor can be created, thereby eliminating the weakest link in the production line process: speed, coupled with real-time measurement. This ability virtually eliminates the need to shut down a line due to sensor failure. Measuring faster and measuring longer, with unprecedented accuracy, gives manufacturers more perfect products in even less time.

Colnatec is a growing technology manufacturing company in Gilbert, AZ with orders for advanced sensor technology from seven major OLED manufacturing organizations, research institutions, and system builders in Europe and Asia. Samsung has been a customer since they began manufacturing in 2010, and many more manufacturers and research institutions have recently discovered Colnatec due to their proprietary, patented (applied) technology's ability to eliminate sensor failure issues in situ for OLED mobile display and lighting, CIGS solar cell, and ALD systems.

About Colnatec LLC

Colnatec designs, develops and manufactures state-of-the-art sensors and electronic instrumentation used in the production of thin film solar cells, OLED displays (cameras, cell phones, monitors) and lighting, optics, and high speed electrical components. Through the use of patented and patent-pending technologies, researchers, manufacturers and system builders are able to increase the conversion efficiency of photovoltaic films, increase production run times, lower costs, improve overall performance, and ultimately increase yield. Colnatec is the holder of numerous patents, the recipient of Department of Energy Phase I and Phase II SBIR Awards for a revolutionary sensor to be used in manufacturing CIGS solar cells and one of eight winners of the Arizona Commerce Authority Innovation Challenge Grant Program to promote innovation in the technology sector. For more information, http://colnatec.com, (480) 634-1449, or sales@colnatec.com.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meet Our Products: HT Crystal

By Whitney Leonard

As the world around us evolves, product innovation and upgraded technology is a natural progression seen everyday. In the early days of civilzation people had to wash their clothes by hand, then came the scrub board, then in the 1930's the washing machine came along. Since then, there have been many upgrades and remodels of the machine. But recently, the high efficiency washer was invented; which is less noisy and much more cost and energy efficient than normal washing machines. Our HT™ crystal is the high efficiency washer of crystals.

In quartz crystal monitoring processes that operate up to 500 degrees C, regular AT cut crystals are very noisy, and not to mention will fail fairly quickly because of the high temperatures. To combat these issues, Colnatec invented the HT™ crystal that excels where the standard AT cut crystal fails. The HT™ cut crystal is stress insensitive and can operate stably up to 500 degrees C, this eliminates the noise rate which prevents inaccurate readings. The HT™ crystal was designed to be used in our Tempe™ system for very high temperature applications. The major benefit of using our HT™ crystal with such high temperature processes is that it can be regenerated, therefore allowing it to be used an infinite number of times.

With the HT™ being able to withstand much higher temperatures, customers will save time and money by reducing overall crystal failure. With Colnatec's HT™ crystal you will have a less noisy more efficient crystal which leads to a much more consistently accurate process.

As always, please contact sales@colnatec.com for more information on our HT™ crystal or any of our other products. Check back soon to learn about our revolutionary Tempe™ sensor head.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Making Strides, We're Advertising!

Colnatec is making huge strides in growing our business, we have just finalized our first print advertisment to be featured in the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) Bulletin publishing in the upcoming weeks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Colnatec Featured on OLED-Info.com

Colnatec is now featured on OLED-info.com as a manufacturing equipment provider. OLED-Info.com is the premier source for comprehensive news and updates on this innovative new technology. Check out Colnatec's feature here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Meet Our Products: EON Controller

By Whitney Leonard

In most cars today you have the option of listening to the radio or listening to a CD. When you listen to the radio you don't know what songs you are going to get, you might get a song you like, or you might get a song you hate. However, when playing a custom CD you already know what songs are on there so you already know you are going to like what you hear, and there are no surprises. This is the way customers should feel about the Eon™ controller.

With the Eon™ controller you already know that it is monitoring and controlling the temperature of the sensor head. Our Eon™ doesn't just display meaningless crystal health, we monitor the real-time current that drives the crystal during oscillation. This current is very important to the crystal health so taking a chance on its accuracy is very risky. The Eon™ doesn't take chances on failure, it catches them before they get out of control. Just like everyone's music taste, materials and coating conditions are specfic to the user, which is why the Eon™ allows the user to create his own predictive algorithm to fit perfectly with his process.

Change can be scary when you are accustomed to using certain products and doing things a certain way. But Colnatec's revolutionary Eon™brings greater accuracy and precision in all aspects of your process, ultimately delivering you the highest yield in quality product produced. Our quick-response customer service will give you all the necessary guidance you need with this new technology.

For more information on our ground breaking Eon™ or any of our other products, please contact sales@colnatec.com. Let Colnatec bring you peace of mind in knowing the real "health" of your crystals at all times.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meet Our Products: Phoenix Sensor Head

By Whitney Leonard

Society tells us that diamonds are a girl's best friend, which gives off the notion that any diamond will make a girl happy. And for the most part, it will. Unless that girl knows what a good diamond is and she gets one that is poorly cut or lacking brilliance. Then all she is left with is a diamond without real value.

What does having value really mean? It means that on the outside it may look like just another product, but there is so much more than meets the immediate eye. Our Phoenix sensor head can be used in place of any regular sensor head, however there is much more value than other replacement sensor heads. The reason why? Temperature measurement.

The Phoenix sensor head can measure temperature unlike other replacement heads. The value of temperature measurement is that it enables greater accuracy and precision in film thickness readings. It also allows for alarm actuation in the event of water cooling failure, thus saving the crystals from over heating. When measuring in nanometers, it is amazing that companies rely on "chance" that their water cooling is actually cooling the sensor head to the right temerature. The peace of mind in knowing your temperature is correct for your process is value that speaks for itself.

At Colnatec, we like to pride ourselves with having customers that really know the value of products. Our customers don't just buy our products because they will work within their vacuum coating systems, they buy our products because we provide the extra value in our products far beyond our competitors. This value ends up saving our customers from many headaches and money loss in the long run.

To learn more about our Phoenix sensor head contact Sales@Colnatec.com and let us prove to you why buying value should be your number one priority.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Meet Our Products: RC Crystal

By Whitney Leonard

The patented RC™ crystal can be summed up in one word, revolutionary. And that is a great thing to be in a world where revolutionary products are the cornerstone of civilization today. There are so many things that have been invented and reinvented in the past few years that it’s hard to believe some people still use old products. For example, cell phones, some people still have just regular cell phones that can only call and text message. But those same people use the internet and email every day so why not have a smart phone that does what a cell phone is supposed to but adds a little something extra?

It wasn't too long ago when everyone had basic cell phones and using email and the internet was strictly a computer advantage, but soon there after the revolutionary smart phone was invented allowing users to do all of the above on one device. Everyone who has a smart phone can atest that at some point having their email or internet on their phone has saved them from what could have been a very unfortunate situation. The RC™ crystal is the smart phone of crystals and can do it all- saving companies time, stress, and not to mention money. Our patented RC™ crystal does what any regular AT crystal does but it adds so much more. For starters, the RC™ is insensitive to frequency shifts and thermal shock. These issues can lead to serious film thickness reading errors. The failing of these regular AT crystals due to thermal shock or frequency shifts costs companies very valuable time and money. With uncontrollable process conditions, the RC™ crystal gives the user an added peace of mind knowing it will negate all of the factors that could cause errors.

Any company can say their product is better than the leading competitor, but at Colnatec we can prove our product is better. In the graphs below we have tested the RC™ crystal vs a standard AT crystal.

Notice the "shutter shock" causing the thickness rating (purple line) to take a negative dip when the shutter is first opened. Now see below where our patented RC™ Crystal never takes a negative dip

Like smart phones, the RC™ gives an added peace of mind in knowing you have the all the basic features of an AT crystal but also have those added features that will save time, money, and many headaches along the way. As always, please contact Sales@Colnatec.com to learn more about our RC™ crystal or any of our other products.

Friday, June 1, 2012

CEO Wendy Jameson Featured in the White House Blog

Colnatec's CEO Wendy Jameson is featured in the White House Blog for Women Entrepeneurs who are creating jobs for Americans, follow the link for an interactive timeline and the look under May 2010 to read more about Wendy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Introducing Colnatec's "Meet Our Products" Series

By Whitney Leonard

Over the next few months we will be introducing our products to you, one at a time. Each week we will be featuring a different product and going in depth about how it can help solve common film thickness monitoring problems, how it can work in your system, and various case studies or related articles to help put things in greater perspective.

The products we will be featuring include:

RC™ Crystal
Phoenix™ Sensor Head
Eon™ Controller
Oasis™ Sensor Head
HT™ Crystal
Tempe™ Sensor Head
Eon LT™ Monitor
AT Crystal
Infinity™ Sensor Head
SQ™ Crystal
Helios™ Sensor Head

We hope you'll find these weekly features interesting and informative, and if you ever have any questions about how one of our products would work in your system, please give us a call at
(480) 634-1449 or email us at Sales@Colnatec.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

SVC TechCon 2012

By Whitney Leonard

On Wednesday May 2nd, Colnatec’s sales and marketing team traveled to Santa Clara, CA for the Society of Vacuum Coaters TechCon international trade show. With this being the first trade show for the sales and marketing team, we weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but with over 190 companies in the vacuum coating, surface engineering and other pertinent technologies we quickly found there was much to see and many to talk to.

As we walked around stopping at booths to chat with engineers and sales people, I noticed a few common themes. First, people are surprised to see two girls walking around in a mostly male-dominated industry. Second, there are many specific problems that need to be fixed within thin film coating processes. And finally, our revolutionary products are making an impact and stimulating the idea of changing from buying from our competitors and instead buying from us.

This conference was very useful for sales and marketing to really get in the belly of the beast and find out what issues and complications companies are currently facing. We needed to hear these problems to be able to better market and sell to potential customers based on their specific needs. The best part about hearing these problems is that for most of them, Colnatec already has a solution. Who doesn’t want an easy automatic answer to all of their problems?  

Overall, SVC TechCon was a great success for Colnatec. We made very good contacts and lasting first impressions for sales and marketing due to our Colnatec M&Ms! Needless to say, Colnatec is quickly becoming a serious player in the industry, and it won’t be long until we are the preferred choice.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Press Release: Colnatec to introduce six novel products at SVC TechCon 2012

By Whitney Leonard

Colnatec announces the introduction of three new film thickness measurement systems at the 55th Annual Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) TechCon in Santa Clara, CA on Wednesday May 2nd.
Click here for the press release SVC 2012 (PDF)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Temperature, The Hot Commodity

By Whitney Leonard

Film thickness measurement is based on the principle that the frequency of vibration of a quartz disc decreases continuously as material is coated on its surface. So, as long as you know what the density of the film is, a process computer can calculate the thickness versus time. Sounds like a pretty easy thing to accomplish; however, there are a few things that can go wrong.

One of the most important factors that can make things go awry is temperature. Most film thickness monitors do not accurately measure, control, or correct temperature. The manuals tell you to keep it at 20°C, but don’t have a way of measuring it. The water cooling temperature is set to 20°C but it doesn’t necessarily mean it stays at that temperature during coating...in fact, we've found in our labs that temperature can vary as much as 50°C during a coating process. Without knowing exactly what temperature it is and correcting it if it’s wrong during the process, the overall film thickness readings could be inaccurate, as much as 50 Angstroms in a given layer! High temperatures and radiation spikes such as at the time the shutter source opens can also lead to an erroneous frequency reading. According to Colnatec CTO Scott Grimshaw, “Ignoring crystal temperature, and even worse, not controlling it, leads to the bulk of problems we see in quartz crystal film thickness monitoring. Noise is just one example.”

So how does Colnatec combat this temperature issue? The brilliant minds at Colnatec have created products that specifically address these issues. Our Tempe™ self-cleaning sensor head uses a heater cartridge and is capable of unlimited self-cleaning cycles, and Helios™, our sealed and heated crystal sensor housing for vapor phase depositions, is perfect for high heat environments with difficult materials, such as selenium. Our Eon™ is a PC based thin film thickness monitor with temperature measurement and heater control that provides all the necessary features of competitive products without the added cost. And, in addition to these temperature measuring and controlling hardware and electronics, we have the RC™ and HT™ crystals which can operate without instability in high temperatures.  These are just a few of the products that we will be showcasing in regards to the importance of temperature measurement next week, on May 2nd, at the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) 2012 technical conference.

Look for us...we'll be the women carrying Colnatec M&Ms :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Future of OLED

By Whitney Leonard

On Tuesday April 17th, Colnatec’s Chief Technology Officer, Scott Grimshaw, attended a workshop in Washington DC put on by the Department of Energy (DOE) and Solid State Lighting Services about the production of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) lighting. OLED lighting is a relatively new technology where you apply a thin film to a substrate such as glass or plastic and then apply electricity into these materials to make them glow.

According to Scott, this workshop was set up to figure out why the USA couldn’t cheaply make OLED lighting. More specifically, there is money to be spent on research, and the DOE needs to figure out where it should go. The goal at the DOE is to lower electricity costs for all of America, and OLED lighting would use 2/3 less power than compact florescent, making it a “clean” technology. At the beginning of the workshop, he said, no one considered that the process of making the organic LED layers or VTE (vacuum thermal evaporation) literally was a source of high expense. Scott proposed a new generation of process control systems for this VTE step in order to reduce the cost and increase yields. When asked how everyone responded to his plan, Scott replied, “At first no one got it, and then I pressed them harder and they finally got it. OLED technology is so unique a technology and requires such a broad knowledge base most people don’t have the necessary experience and background to see the whole picture and grasp all the technical elements. Fortunately, there were a handful of people at this workshop with thin film experience who had this eureka moment and said ‘oh I didn’t know this was a problem’ and at this point my job was done.”

The Department of Energy is planning to make OLED lighting a mass-market competitor in 2015, and to do so, significant advances in science and process technology are necessary. Scott identified that one of the biggest technical problems preventing OLED lighting from mass market penetration is moisture from the atmosphere ruining the light. It is an inexpensive simple light that will fade in 5 years, but Colnatec has some ideas on how to approach this issue, some of which I’ll be writing about in coming months.

After the meeting, Scott recalled, “I had two initial feelings after the meeting—1) I had achieved my goal of establishing that Colnatec’s process technology has a home in the DOE’s goal to reduce energy costs for all Americans, and 2) we are now a player at the table globally for the direction and means for this OLED technology to be achieved.”

Like Colnatec, I’m optimistic that we’ll be making an impact in OLED technology and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Women, Wine, and Wings to Soar

By Whitney Leonard:
On Tuesday night, I attended a presentation of women leaders at ASU's College of Technology and Innovation, moderated by Mitzi Montoya, the Executive Dean. As one of three panelists, Colnatec’s own Wendy Jameson provided an inspiring take on the journey to being successful. As Colnatec’s new marketing coordinator and only a year out of college her presentation was perfect for me to attend allowing me to acknowledge the potential I have before me. The most important ingredient to becoming successful is the knowledge that you already have your wings; you just haven’t learned how to fly yet. So how to do you learn how to fly? Step one, take a risk and don’t be afraid. You are going to fall a few times before you get it right, but you are never going to get it right if you don’t risk falling first. But the beauty of it is, like anything else, you have to grow into risk it doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to learn to be bold, find your voice and stand for something. You also have to remember that you can’t do it alone. So find a business partner, find a support system, something that will help pick you back up those times you do fall. And the final ingredient is trust. I’ll be the first to admit it’s hard to trust when you don’t know if things are going to work out in your favor, but you have to do it anyway. You have to trust in your partners, your products or employees, but most of all you have to trust in yourself. You have to believe you will be successful and don’t stop until you get there.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Press Release: Colnatec is AZ FAST Grant Winner

Colnatec has won an AZ FAST Grant award of $7,500 from the Arizona Commerce Authority!  We were awarded the maximum amount, and only 25 companies received grants.  Click here for the Press Release - AZFastGrantAwards.pdf

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mechanical Design Engineer or Tech job opening

Job Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Design mechanisms and mechanical components using traditional engineering knowledge. Perform design engineering work from concept stage to creation of drawings needed to manufacture the parts.
  • Must be familiar with system design from concept through detailing and release for production.
  • Must be familiar with material, process, and other pertinent specifications needed for the design, drafting & manufacturing of mechanical components.
  • Generate accurate/complete/clear manufacturing drawings of products using SolidWorks
  • Work directly with engineering staff to develop tooling and components for automated equipment via SolidWorks
  • Create 2D engineering model and assembly drawings via SolidWorks
  • Hands-on interaction with machine shop and machine build staff
  • Interact with diverse client industries: Optical, Semiconductor, Solar Energy
  • Generate assembly drawings and Bills of Material from assembly models
  • Prepare layouts/models based on design specifications and create detailed drawings of parts based on the layout/model
  • Calculate and verify that the design meets the specifications
  • Design to cost goals and design for manufacturability and testability
  • Performs other duties as assigned
  • Convenient Phoenix East Valley Location (Gilbert, AZ) 

  • 2-5 years experience in mechanical design
  • Working knowledge of Solidworks ; experience with other CAD packages a plus
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Handle an entrepreneurial environment and remain team oriented
  • Familiar with the fundamentals related to design of machined parts, weldments, sheet metal fabrications, and mechanical assemblies
  • Ability to apply the basic engineering fundamentals of selection and strength of materials, design of weldments, and machine design a plus
  • Knowledge of common machining practices
  • Experience working as a machinist a plus; knowledge of manufacturing software a plus

Full time position with vacation and health benefits. Salary range is $28-35K to start, DOE.

Please send all resumes to marketing@colnatec.com.

Principals only--no agencies or agents, please.