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The use of Parylene

Parylene serves multiple purposes including
– electrical insulation
– moisture and chemical isolation
– mechanical protection
– enhanced lubricity, and
– surface consolidation to avert flaking or dusting.

Definition

Parylene is the trade name for a variety of chemical vapor deposited poly(Poly-Para-Xylylene) polymers used as moisture and dielectric barriers.  Parylene is green polymer chemistry. It is self-initiated (no initiator needed) and un-terminated (no termination group needed) with no solvent or catalyst required.

Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is a philosophy of chemical research and engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances.

Whereas environmental chemistry is the chemistry of the natural environment, and of pollutant chemicals in nature, green chemistry seeks to reduce the negative impact of chemistry on the environment by preventing pollution at its source and using fewer natural resources.

As a chemical philosophy, green chemistry applies to organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry and even chemical engineering.

While green chemistry seems to focus on industrial applications, it does apply to any chemistry choice. Parylene material was discovered by M. M. Swarc in 1947  and it was commercialized by W. F. Gorham in 1965.

How Parylene is applied

Parylene is applied at room temperature with specialized vacuum deposition equipment that permits control of coating rate and thickness. The deposition process takes place at the molecular level as the chemical, in dimer form, is converted under vacuum and heat to dimeric gas; pyrolized to cleave the dimer; and finally deposited as a clear polymer film.

The material is applied at .0002-in per hr. Coating thicknesses from .100 to 76 microns can be applied in a single operation. Typical coating thickness for circuit boards is .001-in.