UV-bonding is a process in which two samples are bonded or glued together using a UV-curable adhesive. It can be used to perform quality bonds to fixate several materials, for example glass-to-glass, silicon-to-glass, glass-to-plastic, plastic-to-plastic, and so on. Using this technique, very thin and accurate bond layers and semi-hermetic seals can be prepared.
UV-bonding has several advantages compared to conventional thermal bonding processes: fast cure speed, minimal heat up of the sample which might cause in alignment difficulties due to thermal expansion differences, and above all curing can be carried out in direct alignment. It is the direct alignment and simultaneous curing that enables high-precision assembly of components like optical lenses or sensor devices. One thing that needs to be taken into account beforehand is the simple fact that both the resin as well as at least one of the samples that need to be bonded need to be (at least partially) transparent for UV-light.
An example of a UV-bonding process:
- Substrate pretreatment. The samples to be bonded need to be properly cleaned and have to undergo a process-specific treatment for optimal adhesion.
- Adhesive application. There are a number of ways to apply the UV-curable adhesive, like droplet dispensing, screen printing, and puddle dispensing.
- Alignment. If necessary, sub-micron alignment of the two samples can be performed. During this process, no contact between sample and adhesive is made yet.
- Contacting. The gap between the two samples is slowly closed until the desired final adhesive layer thickness is obtained.
- UV-curing. Using a UV-light source, photo polymerization of the adhesive is performed.
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