The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced on March 10 that its research team led by biotech professor Lim Sung-kap and electrical and electronics engineering professors Yu Seung-hyup and Jo Byung-jin have developed a very thin, flexible, yet thickness-maintaining polymer insulating film based on initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD).
Light, flexible and power-saving devices are essential for the wearable and flexible instruments and gadgets that will constitute the Internet of Things. Electronic devices and materials based on inorganic substances, however, lack flexibility and can be processed only at a high temperature, which results in a poor combination with other materials less resistant to heat.
The research team adopted iCVD to address this problem. This method is characterized by synthesizing polymers in the form of a thin film by using a gaseous reactant instead of a liquid one. They succeeded in improving the uniformity and minimizing impurities by this method, so that the insulation properties are comparable to those of inorganic substance-based materials even at a thickness of less than 10 nm.
Also, the team appled the film to transistors based on next-generation semiconductor products such as organic semiconductors and graphene and oxide semiconductors, to develop a low-voltage and high-mobility transistor. “The iCVD-based thin film has excellent insulation properties, surpassing those of polymer thin films,” the team explained, adding, “This film will be utilized in a wide variety of fields, including flexible electronic device manufacturing.” The details of the research are available on the March 10 online edition of Nature Materials.