Chemical Vapor Jet Deposition of Parylene Polymer Films in Air

Max Shtein


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S Biswas, O Shalev, KP Pipe, and M Shtein (2015)

MACROMOLECULES, 48(16):5550–5556.

Parylene films are commonly used as transparent, flexible coatings in electronic devices and biomedical applications, exhibiting barrier properties against corrosion, low dielectric constant, and moisture resistance. Reactive vapor deposition of parylene results in conformal coverage of features at room temperature, which is advantageous for passivating, for example, organic optoelectronic devices. Conventional parylene deposition methods, however, coat surfaces virtually indiscriminately and utilize separate chambers for vaporization, pyrolysis, and polymerization, resulting in a large footprint and limited processing integration ability, especially at a laboratory scale. Here, we demonstrate the vaporization and pyrolysis of the di-p-xylylene (parylene dimer) in a single compact nozzle, producing a jet of monomer that polymerizes into a film upon contact with the substrate at room temperature. A guard flow jet is employed to shield the reactive monomer molecules en route to the substrate, thereby enabling polymer deposition and patterning in ambient atmosphere. We present an analytical model predicting film growth rate as a function of process parameters (e.g., gas flow rate and source, pyrolysis & substrate temperatures). The effect of jet flow dynamics on film morphology is also discussed. A 100\% increase in the lifetime of air-sensitive OLEDs is demonstrated upon encapsulation of the devices with parylene-N film deposited by this technique. Potential advantages of this approach include increased material utilization efficiency, localized conformal coating capabilities, and an apparatus that is compact, inexpensive, and does not require vacuum.

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