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ref: -0 tags: polyimide electrodes thermosonic bonding Stieglitz adhesion delamination date: 03-06-2017 21:58 gmt revision:7 [6] [5] [4] [3] [2] [1] [head]

IEEE-6347149 (pdf) Improved polyimide thin-film electrodes for neural implants 2012

  • Tested adhesion to Pt / SiC using accelerated aging in saline solution.
  • Targeted at retinal prostheses.
  • Layer stack:
    • 50nm SiC deposited through PECVD @ 100C using SPS, with low frequency RF modulation.
    • 100nm Pt
    • 100nm Au
    • 100nm Pt
      • These layers will alloy during cure, and hence reduce stress.
    • 30nm SiC
    • 10nm DLC (not needed, imho; PI sticks exceptionally well to clean SiC)
  • Recent studies have concluded that adhesion to PI is through carbon bindings and not through oxide formation.
    • Adhesion of polyimide to amorphous diamond-like carbon and SiC deteriorates at a minimal rate.
  • Delamination is caused by residual stress, which is not only inevetable but a major driving force for cracking in thin films.
    • Different CTE in layer stack -> different contraction when cooling from process temperature.
  • Platinum, which evaporates at 1770C, and is deposited ~100C (photoresists only withstand ~115C) results in a high-stress interface.
    • Pt - Carbon bonds only occur above 1000C
  • After 9 and 13 days of incubation the probes with 400 nm and 300nm of SiC, respectively, which were not tempered, showed complete delamination of the Pt from the SiC.
    • 60C, 0.9 M NaCl, 1 year.
    • The SiC remained attached to the PI.
      • Tempering: repeated treatment at 450C for 15 min in a N2 atmosphere.
    • All other probes remained stable.
  • Notably, used thermosonic bonding to the PI films, using sputtered (seed layer) then 12um electroplated Au.
  • Also: fully cured the base layer PI film.
  • Used oxygen plasma de-scum after patterning with resists to get better SiC adhesion to PI.
    • And better inter-layer adhesion (fully cured the first polyimide layer @ 450C).
  • Conclusion: "The fact that none of the tempered samples delaminated even after ~5 years of lifetime (extrapolated for 37 C) shows a tremendous increase in adhesion.