Single Crystal Substrate FAQs

How are the substrates packaged?

Our substrates are packed in a clean room seating, then sealed in a vacuum bag. We sell all substrates in packs of 5. These 5 substrates will be packaged in a film membrane box and for extra protection during delivery we use a bubble wrapped bag. 

How should I store my crystal substrates in the lab? 

Our advice is to keep the substrates in the original packaging that we deliver them in. Best if you store them in your labs desiccator (if you have one).  

Do I need to clean my crystal substrates? 

You can use your substrates directly out of the packaging if you wish.

However if you wish to clean them, as many people do, to have the surface prepared in the same way each time then a simple solvent wash in an ultrasonic bath can be used.
Put into beaker with the solvent and put into the ultrasonic bath for 5 mins each
  1. Acetone 5 mins 
  2. IPA 5 mins
  3. De-ionized water 5 mins
  4. Dry with compressed nitrogen and use
Of course if you have your own way for preparing your substrates or if you are preparing with ozone treatment or acid-based treatment for creating terminated surfaces then please go ahead and use your preferred method. There're lots of studies out there you can refer to for this.

Can I cut my substrate in half? 

Yes you can. The best thing to do is use a diamond scribe and ruler. Scribe the back of the substrate and break along this mark. You may get some small chips along the edges however in most cases should still be able to use for your needs. Some materials cleave easier than others. For example you can easily slice 10x10mm STO into 4 5x5mm pieces. 

Can I use both sides of my substrate?

If you have a double sided polished substrate you can use both sides. 

How should I handle my substrates? 

Always wear gloves when handling. Its best if you use a pair of clean tweezers to pick up the substrate from the side and try not to touch the top clean surface that you will be depositing on. As with all materials in the lab please consult MSDS sheets for safe use. 

What techniques can you use our substrates for? 

Our substrates are commonly used for 

  1. Pulsed laser deposition (PLD)
  2. Sputtering
  3. Chemical Vapour Deposition (CBD)
  4. Evaporation and solvent based methods
  5. As well as many other uses around the lab. 

Can you make me a custom size substrate? 

If you need a certain size we can make any of our materials to fit your requirement. 

What temperate can my single crystal substrate be heated to? 

Please check the melting point of the specific substrate on the product page. Many substrates (not all) can go up to 1000 degrees C. 

Have another question about your substrate? 

After you have exhausted google and you have a question about the substrate and its uses please get in touch with our team who have extensive experience in thin film growth.