Analytical instrumentation application:
Mass spectrometers are used to determine the presence of trace chemicals in industrial, environmental and clinical applications.
Before the analysis, test samples need to be ionised. Heating the samples to high temperatures is part of the ionization process.
Traditional heating methods include use of cartridge and cable heaters inserted or attached to a metal assembly.
Sample purity is important because with detection capabilities into the part-per-trillion levels of any contaminate, it can affect the analysis.
Also, instrument designs are being challenged with reduced complexity and size of equipment, but still improving response time.
Watlow 's Ultramic 600 advanced ceramic heater has been specified for use with ion sources because its chemical compatibility, low porosity and fine surface finish reduce the likelihood of contamination.
Plus, it reaches 600°C, which meets the performance requirements of most mass spectrometers. Additionally, complexity and size of the ion source could be reduced because the heater can be precision and machined in a small size.
Medical device application:
Respiratory therapy treatments often use heated water molecules via nebulizer techniques as part of their oxygen delivery systems in order to provide patient comfort and aid the healing process.
Patient safety is paramount, so low electrical leakage to ground is required.
Traditionally, medical device designs met the leakage requirements by using low voltage heaters, which required the added expense and space for step down transformers.
The high dielectric strength of aluminium nitride (AlN) that is used in Watlow's Ultramic 600 advanced ceramic heaters meets the UL and CE medical device requirements for leakage current.
The low leakage current allows medical device manufacturers to design nebulizers products that meet medical device safety requirements without the added expense of step down transformers and AC to DC converters.
Semiconductor processing equipment application:
Eutectic die bonding equipment is used in the attachment of lead wires to the die before packaging of the IC. Optimum bonding is achieved by ramping the solder and lead temperature through the eutectic state where the materials flow to create the bond between semiconductor device and lead wire.
As the number of semiconductor devices that need lead attachment grows exponentially, throughput (speed) of processing has become critical in the competitive semiconductor market.
By increasing the temperature ramp rate, the output of a die bonder can be substantially increased and thus reduce the overall cost of each device.
The challenge is that fast ramp rate combined with high reliability is difficult to achieve with conventional metal heater technology.
Watlow's Utramic 600 heater is ideal for this application because a temperature ramp of up to 150°C per second can be achieved while also achieving a fast cool down in preparation for processing of the next device.
Additionally, the heater can be manufactured with vacuum holes and grooves for holding the device during processing. Ultramic 600 was life tested under rapid cycle conditions to validate that it would be meet customer's reliability specifications.