High temperature polymers such as the polyimides are becomming more and more popular in applications which require and insulator or protective coating which can endure high temperatures (up to 400C). In addition these materials can be fabricated with low dielectric constants (between 2 and 3) and tailorable thermal-mechanical properties such as the thermal expansion coefficient which can lie between 3 an 100 ppm/deg. C depending on the precise formulation. Finally these materials can be applied by a variety of manufacturing methods including spin coating, spray coating, plasma deposition and layup of partially cured sheets. All of these favorable properties are finding applications in applications where high temperature stability and excellent dielectric properties are required.
However, in order to take advantage of the excellent engineering properties of these materials the user must have an intimate knowledge of their chemical and thermal-mechanical properties in order to avoid material and thermodynamic incompatibilities which can lead to failure of the application. Issues of adhesion to differnet substrates and cracking behavior brought about by stress buildup are just two of the more common failure modes which can prevent the successful use of these materials. In this course the student will learn how to best apply these materials while avoiding the more common mistakes whch can lead to disaster. In addition, the student will become aware of powerful systematic techniques for characterizing these materials so that the the best choice of materials and processing methods can be made for any given application.
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