Parylene conformal coatings combine a number of properties that are attractive for use in a wide spectrum of applications. Their low dielectric properties, high mechanical strength, transparency, bio compatibility, chemical inertness against all of the common acids, bases and organic solvents, low water/gas permeability and thermal properties make them interesting for use in many industries. Also, pinhole-free Parylene conformal coatings with a thickness higher than 0.1 μm are possible and have been reported earlier . Therefore, understanding their deposition process and characteristics is important.Read More
Parylene Coating Blog by Diamond-MT
Parylene coating process involves 3 steps: sublimation, pyrolysis, and polymerization. At the first step, which takes place between 120°C - 175°C, the dimer parylene powder precursor is sublimized and pyrolysed forming the monomers (see Figure). Next, Pyrolysis takes place which is defined as the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures (above 500 °C) in an inert atmosphere and this reaction is irreversible. Finally, monomers get deposited onto the substrate and all the other surfaces available in the deposition chamber. Monomers form long chained polymers at this step.Read More
Multilayer conformal coatings are advantageous in resolving diffusion or stability issues. A vast amount of knowledge is available in the literature about the use of multilayered stacks of Parylene and stacks making use of different intermediate materials such as metals and so on. Mostly, use of Multiple layers of Parylene C was commonly reported for Medical Implants .Read More
Poly(para-xylylene) derivatives (parylenes) are used as conformal coatings in a wide range of applications in the automotive, medical, electronics, military and semiconductor industries. They are inert, transparent and have excellent barrier properties as dielectric thin films. Because their deposition takes placeunder vacuum sub-micron range crevices can be coated leading to excellent barrier properties (void free) and they have extraordinary purity that is of great importance in electronic applications. Not all parylene derivatives show same dielectric properties (Table 1). It is also important to note that dielectric properties of parylenes depend on their thickness thus their %crystallinity which is explained below.Read More
Parylene Process:Read More
Parylene is a transparent polymer that offers uniform and pinhole-free conformal coatings for printed circuit boards, medical devices, and microelectronics. Varieties of parylene are made available through a modification of the molecular structure of para-xylylene (Parylene N, C, D, and F-AF4, and F-VT4). Each modification results in a set of material properties that are applicable in different service conditions.Read More
Parylene’s (XY) reputation as the most versatile and reliable of major conformal coating materials is well-earned. However, unlike liquid coatings –resins of acrylic, epoxy, silicone and urethane – parylene cannot be applied via relatively economical brush, dip or spray methods. XY can be the most expensive of the major conformal coatings to use, a factor influenced both by:Read More
Parylene (XY) polymer conformal films are recognized for their exceptional range of desirable functional properties for coating printed circuit boards (PCBs) and similar electronics. Beneficial properties include biocompatibility, chemical/solvent resistance, dielectric/insulative reliability, and ultra-thin pinhole-free film thicknesses between 1-50 μm. They also generate complete surface conformability, regardless of substrate configuration, exceeding the coating capabilities of liquid conformal materials, such as acrylic, epoxy, silicone and urethane.Read More
For conformal coatings, elongation is a measure of material ductility -- a specific coating's ability to undergo significant plastic deformation before rupture. A coating’s yield elongation is the maximum stress the material will sustain before fracture. Thus, computed parylene (XY) elongation measurements represent the total quantity of strain the conformal film can withstand before failure. While elongation is equal to a material’s operating failure strain, it has no exclusive units of measurements. Typically,Read More
Parylene (XY) conformal coatings are applied to substrate materials through a specialized chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process that completely eliminates the liquid phase of wet coatings. No initiators or catalysts are involved in CVD polymerization, which synthesizes truly conformal protective film in-process. This is in stark contrast to wet coating materials such as acrylic, epoxy, silicone and urethane, which are synthesized prior to application via, brush, dip or spray methods. Wet during application, liquid-coated substrates requiring further drying and curing.Read More
With reliable moisture barrier properties, parylene (XY) conformal coatings generally have a hydrophobic surface when deposited onto substrates, causing liquids to form separate droplets on film surfaces. While this outcome is useful for many XY applications, greater hydrophilic response, wherein XY molecules form ionic or hydrogen bonds with water molecules, can also be desired. This can be achieved by applying glue or epoxy on top the deposited parylene; surfaces acquire enhanced hydrophilic properties, becoming more wettable.Read More
The phrase “in-line parylene processing" is deceptive because it does not accurately describe the method in which parylene (XY) is applied as a conformal coating. It is true that some aspects of the traditional production line are relevant, but primarily in a fractional way. without the traditional station-to-station regimentation of standard in-line manufacturing processes.Read More
Parylene conformal coating (XY) provides insulative protection for complex electronic circuit assemblies expected to function through rigorous operating conditions -- potential chemical, electrical, moisture and vapor incursion during performance. Applied through chemical vapor deposition (CVD), parylene penetrates deep within substrate surfaces, generating a level of assembly security surpassing that offered by liquid coatings such as acrylic, epoxy, silicone and urethane. Yet, although XY is applied in a vacuum, it’s capacity to provide these extraordinary qualities does not exist in one. Parylene’s durable protective value depends on film adhesion, a quality subject to persistent, thorough inspection throughout the production process.Read More
Accidentally discovered in 1947, by chemist Michael Szwarc, the polymer parylene originally bore his name, and was known for a brief period known as Szwarcite. Working to thermally decompose the solvent p-xylene at temperatures exceeding 1000 °C, Szwarc identified the monomer para-xylylene di-iodide as the only product resulting when para-xylylene was reacted with iodine.Read More
The Need for Cleanliness TestingRead More
For various reasons, even people familiar with the variety of existing conformal coatings, their strengths, weaknesses and respective use often assume that the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process used for parylene films incorporates a solvent, as an integral component of the procedure. This is false, for the reasons detailed below.Read More
The parylenes consist of a range of para-xylylene polymers whose desirable physical and electrical properties support expansive utilization as conformal coatings for electronic and medical devices Parylene films are applied to substrates via a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process, which deposits monomeric parylene vapor homogeneously and deeply into the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and related assemblies/components.Read More
Often considered the ultimate conformal coating, Parylene is well suited to protect many types of products and devices.Read More
In addition to cracking, a range of associated issues may interfere with successful coating of parylene films. Because it is applied via CVD, parylene generates a structurally continuous film covering a PCB or similar assembly. In CVD, the interaction of vapor-phase chemical reactants formulate a non-volatile solid film on a substrate, useful for a variety of applications like corrosion resistance, erosion defense, and high temperature protection.Read More
Parylene is often considered the ultimate conformal coating for the protection of devices, components, and surfaces in the electronics, instrumentation, aerospace, medical, and engineering industries.Read More
Parylene only adheres to substrates mechanically, and this can require assistance from additive substances; parylene’s chemically-based adherence is nonexistent. Adhesion is a consequence of molecular attraction stimulating the surface unification of two dissimilar substances; their joining creates a significant physical bond between them. Of the two primary types of adhesion, chemical adhesion results when a compound joins with another, because they share sufficient mutual chemical interaction to form a bond with each other. Because parylene is chemically inert, chemical adhesion is impossible; it adheres using the other method -- mechanical adhesion. Applied mechanical processes can stimulate this binding force between surface molecules.Read More
Parylene DepositionRead More
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.
One of the different factors to take into account when trying to determine the proper parylene thickness is the amount of clearance needed. If it is a printed circuit board that is an enclosure, there usually will not be too many clearance issues. However, in some cases, even an extra mil of coating can cause extra mechanical abrasion to the parylene which can result in damaged parylene.
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.