PLAZMARK® in a minute

PLAZMARK® in a minute

Plasma evaluation for as little as ¥100. Free samples are available upon request.

Visualize the Plasma Process

Features

Plasma Indicator🄬 PLAZMARK®; Easy to use evaluation tool that reacts to radicals and ions through a change of color.
“Visualize The Plasma Process” through gradual changes on a color spectrum based on the strength and duration of plasma treatment.

  • #01Know at a Glance

    Easily assessable by “color.” We bring simplicity to evaluating in-plane distribution.

  • #02Cost Reduction

    No expensive equipment necessary.
    Realize a reduction in the time needed for evaluation.

  • #03Higher Productivity

    Check for machine-to-machine difference or in-plane uniformity to stabilize product quality and increase efficiency

Practical Applications

Uses

  • Improved Efficiency of Process Management
    Improved Efficiency of Process Management
  • Equipment to Equipment Variation Check
    Equipment to Equipment Variation Check
  • Plasma Process Uniformity Evaluation
    Plasma Process Uniformity Evaluation
  • Case Studies
    Case Studies

Learn various applications of Plasma Indictor as well as methods for improving efficiency through insightful case studies.

Case#01Case#01

Approximately once every month, a defect was being found. Instruction regarding the proper procedure was being given, but there were some deviations in the way, it was being carried out depending on the operator.

Production Manager “A” Electronic parts manufacturer, China
Product in use:Product in use: PLAZMARK🄬 for O₂ Cleaning (Card Type)

The rate of defect occurrence improved dramatically.

We typically set our parts in a multi-rack vacuum plasma equipment for cleaning. At a frequency of about once per month, we were finding a defect, either due to an equipment setting failure or possibly as the result of incomplete cleaning. Although we have a set operation procedure, each operator was executing this procedure with a slightly different level of motivation and awareness. Accordingly, it was difficult to avoid the occurrence of such defects completely. Our aim was to find a simple and straightforward method for improving our quality management.
We found PLAZMARK® at an exposition we attended. When we used the free sample they gave us, it showed clear changes in color, which made it very easy to check if the treatment had been carried out properly, or whether the settings had been correct. Impressed with the simplicity, we opened discussions with our Quality Management Department and decided to introduce PLAZMARK® right away. We installed a PLAZMARK® card for each shelf of the equipment where our parts were set. Now, when cleaning is completed, we compare the color of each card with the color sample to make sure that all the parts have been properly cleaned.
Outcome: Defect occurrence was decreased dramatically. Thanks to its cost-friendliness, overseas plants were also able to purchase the product easily, without an approval of the headquarter. The simple visual evaluation it allows for has been perfect for local employees to ensure quality management.

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Case #02Case #02

We were looking for an effective method of checking whether or not we were conducting surface modification evenly for three dimensional shapes.

Engineer “B”, Product Engineering Department Resin molding manufacturer
Product in use: PLAZMARK® for Atmospheric Plasma (Long Label Type)

PLAZMARK® enhanced our product quality.

During plasma surface treatments prior to joining resin molded parts, we were having difficulty finding an efficient measure to evaluate uniformity due to certain parts’ 3-dimensional shapes.
We used one of the sample PLAZMARK® for Atmospheric Plasma long labels in our evaluation process, and immediately we were able to confirm a difference in colors. Also, we could see the correlation between the color difference and the measurement range of conventional methods.
Taking the color meter under optimal processing conditions as our basis, we used PLAZMARK® for Atmospheric Plasma long labels twice a day: once just before operations began, and again just before operations resumed following the lunch break. Color changes were quantified by utilizing the color meter, then recorded in our daily reports and retained as evidential data.
Outcome: Time-dependent deterioration of equipment performance was mitigated through the conducting of daily assessments, which enabled us to provide products with reliable quality. As a result, we received high acclaim from our clients and the order volume shows increase.

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Case#03Case#03

An investigation was required for in-house plasma equipment.

Assistant Division Manager “C”, Customer Service Division Plasma equipment manufacturer
Product in use: PLAZMARK for O₂ Cleaning (Label Type)

PLAZMARK® proved useful for quickly determining the cause of the issue, and the company came to be regarded by its client with an even greater sense of reliability than before.

According to “Assistant Division Manager ‘C’” tasked with running the customer service division of a plasma equipment manufacturer, his company received a complaint from a client regarding unexpected deterioration of sealing parts on their exhaust pipes. The client checked the equipment and found that it was taking longer to vacuum than usual due to the deterioration of the sealing components. Since the deterioration had occurred quickly and unexpectedly, the client demanded that a proper investigation for its cause be conducted.
In order to examine the condition of the plasma inside the chamber, label-shaped PLAZMARK® indicators were placed on the interior walls and in various other locations inside the chamber. Based on a color evaluation, it became clear that there was an abnormal plasma discharge inside the exhaust duct. The equipment was adjusted immediately to keep the plasma within the appropriate space. As a result, the client was able to succeed in implementing appropriate preventative measures, so that the unanticipated deterioration would not continue to occur.
Since this experience, whenever Assistant Division Manager C’s company has conducted periodic maintenance, they have used PLAZMARK® labels in order to examine the status of any plasma in the interior of a chamber. In addition, they have been sharing the PLAZMARK® color data with their clients to provide reassurance regarding the results of the maintenance check. PLAZMARK® has also been in use for their final testing before they ship their finished products.

Outcome: PLAZMARK® quickly helped to identify the cause of the problem. Because of the promptness with which they were able to provide the necessary measurements, the company was able to successfully minimize any negative impact to its client’s operations. In spite of the initial issue, the company’s support system was acclaimed so highly by the client that their relationship actually became deeper and stronger as a result.

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Case#04Case#04

A fluctuation of quality by production lines was discovered, driving the company to desperately seek an effective preventative measure.

Director “D”, Production Engineering Department Electronic parts manufacturer
Product in use: PLAZMARK® for O₂ Cleaning (Sheet Type)

PLAZMARK®’s quantifiable color meter enabled reliable yet easy evaluation.

The electronic parts manufacturing company of “Director ‘D’” had multiple automated production lines for which the same manufacturing process was being utilized repeatedly. His department had been receiving inquiries regarding a fluctuation of quality in products by production lines, and his team had been excessively busy dealing with the issue. In most cases, this type of problem would be due to slight differences found in the 10+ plasma machines in operation, which could be expected regardless of their having the same settings. Ideally, inspection should have been carried out before operating hours commenced each day, in order to make sure that there was no machine difference. But since this would have been both time and energy consuming, it was not realistic.
After an agent of theirs highly recommended PLAZMARK® as a “very easy and cost-friendly” evaluation tool, the company purchased some sheet-type indicators and placed them inside of the more than 10 plasma machines they were using, while holding them all at the same setting. By using PLAZMARK®, the uniformity of the plasma process in each machine was assessed, as was the potential of any machine difference. While uniformity was found in all of the plasma equipment, the data clearly showed that machine differences were occasionally occurring.
The results were shared with each manufacturing department and a series of common rules were established, including checking the condition of the machines every morning to make sure that there were no differences. The production department has been faithfully following this protocol ever since. PLAZMARK® has also been helpful for the production engineering department. For example, when equipment has been added or replaced as part of factory expansion or production line expansion plans, adjustment of the settings of the equipment has been able to be carried out efficiently based on the results of the color test. At the time of new installation, strict and accurate settings by using the color meter have been required, but for daily maintenance visual inspection by using the color samples has been sufficient to prove whether the necessary conditions have been met.

Outcome:Because of PLAZMARK®’s ease in use, the production department was able to cooperate with regard to enforcing the company’s new protocol. As a result, the frequency with which the production engineering department had to deal with the issue decreased dramatically. The capability of the color difference to be quantified clearly was helpful for adjusting settings when production lines were expanded. PLAZMARK® proved not only easy to use, but provided reliable results, which enabled the company to significantly improve its quality management.

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Case#05Case#05

The equipment needed for checking the effect of plasma cleaning was overly costly and troublesome to use for measuring.

Chief Operator “E”, Packaging Production Department Semiconductor manufacturing company
Product in use: PLAZMARK® for Ar Cleaning (Card Type)

PLAZMARK®’s quick results contributed positively to overall work efficiency. Thanks to its cost-friendliness, evaluation could be conducted frequently to ensure the finest quality.

We wanted to be able to confirm the effectiveness of plasma cleaning before wire bonding. Although we had been doing so based on the Au Etching rate, the equipment for carrying out such measurements was quite costly and energy-consuming, which limited the number of operators who could handle it. In addition, the specimens used for the Au Etching measurement process were also quite expensive themselves, thereby making it hard for us to conduct the test as often as we desired. Furthermore, the payment procedure was complicated, as well. These factors were going against us even though our intention was to check the plasma cleaning’s effectiveness with greater frequency.
In an attempt to find an alternative method for checking the effectiveness of plasma cleaning, we found PLAZMARK®. When we first used PLAZMARK® for Ar Cleaning with Middle Sensitivity (No. 22), we could not see a significant difference. However, when we consulted with Sakura Color Products Corporation, they provided us with a free sample of High Sensitivity (No. 21), which responded with resolute clarity to our equipment. In comparison to the data collected through the Au Etching process, the color results showed a stronger correlation. Based on the calibration curve, we came to the conclusion that PLAZMARK® could replace the system of measuring by the Au Etching rate.
Compared to the Au Etching process, No. 21 showed results much more quickly, making it possible for us to save over 20 minutes of waiting time. What’s more, we could easily quantify any difference in color by using the color meter as soon as we got the indicator (the specimen) out of the equipment. This enabled further streamlining of the operation.

Outcome: By using PLAZMARK®, we were able to perform the task of confirming the effectiveness of plasma cleaning in no time, which improved our overall work efficiency dramatically. The easy application and cost-friendliness of PLAZMARK® enabled us to increase the frequency with which we did this work from once every few months to once a day. As a result, we have become better able to provide products with reliable quality, and to achieve value engineering for production lines as a whole.

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FAQ

Choose from Category

Uses/Applications

QWhat is the pressure range under which each PLAZMARK® product can work?
A
  Atmospheric Pressure
(10⁵Pa)
Low Vacuum
(10⁰~10²Pa)
Medium Vacuum
(10⁰~10⁻²Pa)
High Vacuum
(<10⁻³Pa)
PLAZMARK® for Atmospheric Plasma × ×
PLAZMARK® for O₂/Ar Cleaning ×
PLAZMARK® for Desmear ×
PLAZMARK® Heat-resistant Label Type
PLAZMARK® Wafer Type Ceramics
  • ○ Usable
  • △ Usable, but vacuuming may take longer than usual.
  • × Not recommended
QUnder what electrical discharge frequencies can PLAZMARK® be used?
A

Under any electrical discharge mechanism or frequency PLAZMARK® can be used, as long as the radicals or ions can reach the indicator..

QWhat are PLAZMARK®’s operating temperature limits?
A

PLAZMARK® for O₂ Cleaning/Ar Cleaning and PLAZMARK® for Atmospheric Plasma offer heat-resistance of up to 100℃; Heat-resistant Label Type is resistant up to 200℃; and for Wafer Type Ceramics the maximum heat resistance is 400℃.

QWhat are PLAZMARK®’s measurement range capabilities?
A

When it comes to plasma processing, numerous different kinds of equipment and types of gas are in use. Furthermore, the color of the indicator will change based on both the density of the radicals or ions present and the duration of the plasma process. As the range of color change depends on each users’ actual usage conditions, it is difficult to define the measurable range. All customers are requested to test by using our free samples. Request free samples here.

QCan PLAZMARK® be used for gases not specified on your web page/catalogue?
A

The gases introduced on our web page or in our catalogue are the types for which we have previously confirmed color changes. All customers are requested to test by using our free samples before purchase, as PLAZMARK® may also react to other gases. To request free samples, please click here.

QCan PLAZMARK® be used for mixed gases?
A

PLAZMARK® will most likely react to mixed gases that include gases specified on our web page or in our catalogue, and may react when other mixed gases are used, as well. All customers are requested to test by using our free samples before purchase. To request free samples, please click here.

QCan PLAZMARK® be used for coating or film-forming processes?
A

If the surface of the indicator is covered with formed film or coating, radicals and ions will not be able to reach the color material. Because of this, the color change reaction will be disturbed and PLAZMARK® will be unable to provide accurate results. However, PLAZMARK® may be able to be used experimentally for the following:
● Plasma CVD: When checking plasma generated exclusively by carrier gases, in the instance no material gases are used.
● Sputtering: For pre-treatment before the film-forming process (reverse sputtering).
● Vapor deposition: For checking ion guns being used for ion-assisted deposition (IAD).

QCan PLAZMARK® be used for ultraviolet-ozone surface cleanings?
A

Since ultraviolet cleanings and ultraviolet-ozone surface cleanings generate a large number of radicals, PLAZMARK® can be used to detect plasma as long as the radicals are able to reach the indicator. The amount of radicals generated in ultraviolet curing or ultraviolet photo development are limited, however, and because of this PLAZMARK® will most likely be unable to adequately display changes in color for these usages. All customers are requested to test by using our free samples before purchase. To request free samples, please click here.

QCan PLAZMARK® be used for corona treatments?
A

PLAZMARK® has detection capabilities as long as the radicals generated by the corona treatment are able to reach the indicator. All customers are requested to test by using our free samples before purchase. To request free samples, please click here.

QEven after the plasma treatment is complete, PLAZMARK® is not changing color.
A

If the product in use is PLAZMARK® Heat-resistant Label Type, please make sure that the protection film is off during the plasma treatment. Even when the color change is weak, the color should still be able to be quantified by using the color meter. If the color meter is not available, please send us a “Request for Measurement Support” by submitting a request from. It is possible that the sensitivity of the given PLAZMARK® product being used is not matching the plasma treatment. Try increasing the settings for the plasma treatment. Alternatively, if PLAZMARK® with Middle or Low Sensitivity is being used, please try using High Sensitivity instead.

QAfter completion of the plasma treatment the color shown by PLAZMARK® is disappearing.
A

If the color disappears after the plasma treatment, it means that the condition is beyond the measurement range. Try decreasing the treatment settings, and use PLAZMARK® with a lower sensitivity.

QCan PLAZMARK® be used under water?
A

PLAZMARK® is not designed for underwater usage.

QCan PLAZMARK® be stored for long-term use as a record?
A

PLAZMARK® Heat-resistant Label Type and PLAZMARK® Wafer Type are not recommended to be used for long-term preservation as the color results may change inadvertently due to aging. Other PLAZMARK® products should not change their color results as long as they are stored in a regular office environment where there is no direct sunlight, heat, or humidity; however, this is not guaranteed.

QCan PLAZMARK® be cut before use?
A

At the user’s own risk, PLAZMARK® can be cut before use as long as it is treated carefully. Since the detection area is extremely delicate, there is a risk of dust dispersion or inaccurate color change when it is cut.

Catalogue/Sample Request/Request for Estimate or Consultation

QHow can I receive your catalogue?
A

Please submit a request via our request form.

QHow can I receive a sample?
A

Please submit a request via our request form.

QHow can I receive a quote?
A

Please submit a request via our request form.

QCould you come to our office to explain your products?
A

Please submit a request via our request form.

QHow can I obtain a Parameters Sheet?
A

Please submit a request via our request form.

QWhere can I buy PLAZMARK?
A

We provide our products directly, or through trading companies that handle laboratory equipment, tools, vacuuming devices, and associated accessories. PLAZMARK® cannot be purchased through trading companies specializing in stationery, office supplies, or office automation appliances.

QIs PLAZMARK® available overseas?
A

Depending on your country/region, PLAZMARK® may be available. For more details, please submit a request via our request form.

QWhat is the estimated time you require for delivery?
A

When we have stock on hand, our products are shipped within 5 business days after receipt of an order. Although we make every effort to avoid stock shortages, in the case a shortage or outage does occur, we will immediately notify the customer at the time of order and coordinate an alternative delivery date.

QAre you able to provide a safety data sheet (SDS)?
A

PLAZMARK® falls under the category of an “Article” (manufactured item) which stays in a solid state and does not change to any other form such as powder form or granular form during end use. Because of this, we are not obligated to create a label to display the chemical substances in use, nor to provide a safety data sheet, either domestically or internationally.

Evaluation based on Color Difference

QWhat is “color difference”?
A

Color difference refers to the quantified difference in color observed on the surface of a material. The bigger the figure is, the bigger the difference there is in color. The color distance metric ⊿E*ab, which denotes a difference between two points within a 3-dimensional CIELAB color space, is useful for quantifying the degree of color change. *Note: No unit is used for ⊿E*ab.

QHow can color difference be measured?
A

ny tool referred to as a colorimeter, color meter, or color difference meter that is generally used for color management in printing or painting can be used to measure color difference.

Q Is a color meter essential?
A

Visual inspection can be easily carried out by creating a distribution figure for relative evaluation or a boundary color sample.

Q Can you measure the color difference for us?
A

Please submit a request via our request form.

QIs any specific color meter required?
A

As long as it has the capacity to measure colors based on the CIELAB metric (⊿E*ab), any color meter on the market can be used for our products. The one exception is PLAZMARK® Wafer Type, as there is a color meter specifically designed for Wafer Type that can provide measurements without requiring contact. For more details, please contact us via our request form.