Whether the application is a medical device, a printed circuit board (PCB), or a light-emitting diode (LED), a parylene conformal coating is typically applied to protect the product. Sometimes, however, the product actually has to be protected from the parylene conformal coating—or at least parts of it do.
Parylene Coating Blog by Diamond-MT
People often wonder if their project can be parylene coated. While there are huge list of items that can be coated with parylene, there are some limitations. One of these limitations is size.
Type xy conformal coating refers to parylene conformal coating. Parylene gets the type xy from its’ full name, para-xylylene. It was shortened to parylene and eventually type xy so that it could be grouped with the other conformal coatings (type ar, ur, etc.).
WHAT ARE MEMS?
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is the technology of very small devices; it merges at the nano-scale into nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and nanotechnology. MEMS are made up of components between 1 to 100 micrometres in size (i.e. 0.001 to 0.1 mm), and MEMS devices generally range in size from 20 micrometres (20 millionths of a metre) to a millimetre (i.e. 0.02 to 1.0 mm). They usually consist of a central unit that processes data (the microprocessor) and several components that interact with the outside such as microsensors.
Raw Materials – Parylene Dimer and Adhesion Promotion
Parylene dimer is the raw form of parylene. It is the solid inserted into the machine that is broken down through the deposition process. Cost for parylene dimer can be anywhere from $200 to $5,000 per pound depending on the different type of dimer. A typical coating run is around a pound of dimer.
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Parylene Coating Process – Phase 1 – Prior to Parts Arrival
Once we receive a purchase order from a customer, all of the pertinent information such as drawings, specifications, and special instructions are given to the quality department from our marketing team to create custom work instructions for that particular part.
How to Improve Parylene Adhesion
Parylene, through its deposition process, does not adhere chemically, only mechanically, to any given substrate. In order to improve parylene adhesion to its best possible levels for a wide variety of substrates, different methods of surface modification via adhesion promoters must be used. Adhesion promotion methods are typically used prior to the actual coating process, however some can be integrated during the process itself.
The Parylene Deposition Process
Parylene coating is applied through a vapor deposition process onto the substrate or material that is being coated. Depending on the coating type and required thickness, typical parylene deposition rates are about .2/mils per hour, so machine runs can vary from as little as 1 hour to over 24 hours. The process begins with raw dimer in solid state (these are: Parylene C, Parylene N, Parylene D, Parylene AF-4, or other variants) being placed into a loading boat, which is then inserted into the vaporizer. The raw dimer is heated between 100-150º C. At this time, the vapor is pulled, under vacuum into the furnace and heated to very high temperatures which allows for sublimation and the splitting of the molecule into a monomer. The monomer gas continues to be drawn by vacuum one molecule at a time onto the desired substrate at ambient temperatures in the coating chamber. The final stage of the parylene deposition process is the cold trap. The cold trap is cooled to between -90º and -120º C and is responsible for removing all residual parylene materials pulled through the coating chamber.