Tunable polytetrafluoroethylene electret movies with extraordinary cost stability synthesized by initiated chemical vapor deposition for natural electronics purposes

In addition to its glorious chemical stability and dielectric properties polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is well-known for its excellent efficiency as an actual cost electret material1,2,Three. An electret is a dielectric materials with a quasipermanent dipole polarization or floor cost, the latter one normally generated by ion irradiation in a corona discharge or electron beam irradiation3. It may possibly ship a built-in potential in transportable digital gadgets to energy it with out exterior bias voltage. The very best recognized software might be the millionfold produced electret condenser microphone for cell digital gadgets, like cell phones and listening to aids4,5. Varied different purposes reap the benefits of electrets starting from electrostatic air filters to natural transistor reminiscence and electret memristors6,7,eight. Most lately the rising curiosity in electret generators9,10,11,12,13 calls for moreover excessive efficiency electrets, usually on versatile substrates11,12,13. For next-generation electret gadgets, a fluoropolymer skinny movie deposition approach is extremely demanded to allow gadget miniaturization, exact fluoropolymer skinny movie management, in addition to the combination into state-of-the-art industrial microelectronic processing strains. Significantly for PTFE electrets, prime quality PTFE skinny movies are wanted, that protect the unique nature of PTFE. Some promising approaches have been reported14,15,16. Nonetheless corona-charged PTFE skinny movies deposited, e.g. by radio frequency (rf) sputtering present important variations in cost storage and electrical properties in comparison with business PTFE14, attributable to deviations from the unique PTFE construction. Additionally a lot larger dissipation elements are reported for rf sputtered PTFE skinny movies17. PTFE skinny movies ready by plasma polymerization undergo usually from C=O group formation attributable to oxidation which will increase additionally the dissipation issue of the movie18 and consequently impairs the electret properties15. Promising PTFE movie fabrication approaches with pulsed laser deposition (PLD)16 usually are not appropriate for large-area deposition. Excessive temperatures are moreover concerned in most of those approaches and are thus not appropriate for delicate versatile polymer substrates used, e.g. in subsequent era versatile natural digital gadgets like wearable electret mills11,12,13. On this strategy, the talked about issues are solved through the use of PTFE skinny movies synthesized by way of initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD). This system is understood to protect the unique polymer performance and to take care of a low substrate temperature, attributable to its delicate deposition circumstances19,20, permitting thus the deposition on versatile natural susbtrates. The iCVD course of is already nicely established for PTFE skinny movie deposition21,22,23. The approach doesn’t contain any natural solvents, as a result of the skinny movie is straight polymerized by a free radical polymerization on a substrate, which is cooled to room temperature. An initiator offers CF3 finish teams, stopping polar group formation at dangling bonds, and will increase thus the dielectric efficiency concerning, e.g. dissipation elements. It moreover will increase the deposition charge considerably. Charges of a number of µm h−1 are reported for iCVD PTFE21,23, in order that the demanded movie thickness of usually 10 µm for steady polymer electrets is well obtained on this method. The CVD-typical conformal progress permits moreover easy movie surfaces and simple scale-up of the method to bigger dimension substrates, making it fascinating for industrial purposes19,23. The PTFE skinny movie electrets on this examine had been fabricated in a custom-made, sizzling filament, radial-flow-type reactor with ring-inlet, as illustrated in Fig. 1a.

Determine 1Figure 1

(a) Illustration of the radial-flow kind reactor used on this examine. The gasoline is provided via the ring inlet to the reactor and the pattern stage is cooled to room temperature. The system is operated in steady stream mode. (b) Structural formulation of the initiator molecule perfluorobutanesulfonyl flouride (PFBSF, 1,1,2,2,Three,Three,Four,Four,Four-nonafluorobutane-1-sulfonyl fluoride) and the monomer molecule hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO, 2,2,Three-Trifluoro-Three-(trifluoromethyl)oxirane)) used for the deposition of PTFE skinny movies. (c) Photograph of a versatile substrate with DC magnetron sputtered gold electrode buildings and iCVD polymer skinny movie dielectric.

The self-initiated monomer gasoline hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) is used along with perfluorobutanesulfonyl flouride (PFBSF) to polymerize PTFE skinny movies on the cooled substrate. The chemical buildings of those two molecules are proven in Fig. 1b. The movies are deposited on conductive substrates, which act as backside electrodes. As a result of delicate deposition circumstances, additionally versatile polymer substrates might be coated, as demonstrated in Fig. 1c. The iCVD PTFE skinny movies are subsequently irradiated with ions in a corona discharge setup, as schematically illustrated in Fig. 2a.

Determine 2Figure 2

(a) Schematic of a corona discharge setup. The tip potential Vt and non-compulsory grid with grid potential Vg are utilized to generate the floor cost by ion irradiation. (b) Cross-sectional view of the PTFE skinny movie after the ion irradiation. As a result of floor cost (σs), the electret establishes an inner electrical discipline Ein and an exterior electrical discipline Eex within the neighborhood of a counter electrode.

The attribute parameters of an electret are illustrated in Fig. 2b. The ensuing floor cost of the electret (σs) after the ion irradiation generates an inner electrical discipline (Ein) and an exterior electrical discipline (Eex) within the neighborhood of a counter electrode. It’s associated to the floor potential (VS) of the electret by:



The worth x1 represents the movie thickness and ε0 and εr denote the vacuum permittivity and relative permittivity, respectively. The preliminary worth of σs is restricted by the corona parameters and dielectric power of the fabric. Non charged iCVD PTFE movies deposited on C-Si are used for the chemical characterization. The similarity of iCVD PTFE movies to business PTFE is reported by many authors22,24. Additionally the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy carried out for this examine verify the similarity of iCVD PTFE skinny movies to business bulk PTFE, as proven in Fig. Three.

Determine ThreeFigure 3

(a) XPS spectrum of the iCVD PTFE skinny movie displaying the attribute CF2 ratio for PTFE. (b) Similar bands might be noticed within the Raman measurement of the iCVD skinny movie and a business bulk PTFE reference pattern.

The XPS spectrum in Fig. 3a exhibits a C 1 s peak round 292 eV, which might be assigned to the carbon within the spine of the molecule25. The height round 690 eV is recognized as the first F 1 s peak for the fluorine atoms, sure to the carbon spine, whereas the peaks within the area between 800 eV and 900 eV might be related to the Auger peak for fluorine (F KLL)25. Contemplating the sensitivity issue 5.1 for F 1 s, a focus of 66.9% for F 1 s and 32.5% for C 1 s might be estimated implying the attribute F/C ≈ 2 ratio for PTFE. Additional info on the excessive decision C 1s peak might be discovered within the supplementary info (Fig. S1). Recorded Raman spectra of iCVD PTFE skinny movies and bulk PTFE present an identical bands, as proven in Fig. 3b. An in depth band project might be discovered within the supplementary knowledge. The 520 cm−1 band seems solely within the iCVD PTFE skinny movie spectrum. As a result of absence of A2 vibrations in Raman spectroscopy it can’t be attributed to the CF2 rocking which is often noticed on this vary in IR spectra of PTFE26,27. However a typical sturdy band round 520 cm−1 is related to the principle one-phonon peak in c-Si28,29 and the band at 520 cm−1 is thus recognized as a substrate peak for the c-Si substrate. Aside from that, the 2 spectra for bulk PTFE and iCVD PTFE present glorious settlement and the obtained PTFE skinny movies appear to be an identical to business bulk PTFE. The affect of the corona discharge on the polymer floor morphology has been investigated intimately earlier than, e.g. by Kim et al.30. The conformity of the iCVD PTFE movies grown on c-Si is investigated by ellipsometry and exhibits a price of ± 5.5 nm due to the CVD-typical progress traits. The dielectric properties of the iCVD deposited movies are decided by the impedance, measured in a skinny movie capacitor association. As proven in Fig. 4a, the vertical line within the Nyquist plot represents capacitive habits.

Determine FourFigure 4

(a) Nyquist plot of iCVD PTFE skinny movie measured within the skinny movie capacitor association. (b) Schematic sketch of the electrostatic voltmeter used for the contact-free measurement of the electret with a vibrating probe. (c) TSPD measurement of iCVD PTFE, PMMA and business Teflon AF skinny movie electrets at 6 °C min−1 heating charge. The error bars are inside the image dimension. (d) TSPD curves for iCVD PTFE deposited at two totally different reactor pressures present totally different habits in the course of the measurement (heating charge 6 °C min−1 for each samples). The error bars are inside the image dimension.

The relative permittivity of the iCVD PTFE is set from the complicated impedance Z* by

$$_^ast =(iomega rm_Z^ast )^-1$$


The variable ω represents the angular frequency and C0 the geometry issue. The relative permittivity is determnined to εr = 2.1, which is often reported for PTFE31. The dissipation issue is given by:

$$tan (delta )=frac_.$$


It’s calculated for business PTFE and iCVD PTFE from the impedance knowledge. The worth ε2 represents the imaginary half and ε1 represents the true a part of the complicated relative permittivity (εr* = ε1 + iε2). Within the setup used on this examine, no distinction between iCVD PTFE and business PTFE was discovered. This confirms that iCVD PTFE doesn’t solely resemble business PTFE with regard to chemical properties, however additional on with regard to the dielectric properties. As a result of CF3 end-groups, offered by the PFBSF initiator, the dissipation issue is far decrease as usually noticed in, e.g. plasma polymerized PTFE skinny movies18, as a result of polar C=O group formation might be excluded. The corona charged iCVD PTFE electrets are investigated with regard to their cost stability with an electrostatic voltmeter (Fig. 4b). Thermally stimulated potential decay (TSPD) measurements are carried out for this objective. The thermal cost stability of the iCVD PTFE skinny movie electrets is in comparison with standard spin coated Teflon AF skinny movie electrets32,33 and PMMA. The outcomes of the measurements are proven in Fig. 4c. The measurement exhibits that fluoropolymers, like iCVD PTFE and Teflon AF, are typically superior to non-fluoropolymers, as already talked about at first. The iCVD PTFE skinny movies present even larger cost stability in comparison with standard Teflon AF fluoropolymer skinny movies. An element, which could lower the efficiency of the Teflon AF is the preparation methodology by spin coating. Residual solvent could be embedded within the spin coated Teflon AF movie and inhomogeneous movie high quality would possibly happen, as a result of a number of layers need to be spin coated as a way to get hold of a adequate excessive movie thickness for cheap electret cost storage. Moreover the amorphous Teflon AF undergoes a glass transition round Tg = 160 °C. The floor potential improve of iCVD PTFE, noticed as much as 120 °C, might be related to the thermal growth of the skinny movie34. It is rather pronounced in PTFE because of the section transition within the crystalline areas from hexagonal (15/7 helix) to a pseudohexagonal disordered construction at 30 °C35. The thermally stimulated present dn/dt launched from the iCVD PTFE electrets at heating charge β might be calculated from VS by36:

$$fracdn=frac__beta fracdV_.$$


The plot might be discovered within the supplementary info (Fig. S2). Let E be the lure vitality degree. The operate f0(E) represents the preliminary occupancy of the traps and N(E) the vitality distribution of the lure ranges, the product f0(E)N(E) thus the preliminary quantity density37,38. With P(E, T) as a shape-factor, the provider present might be expressed, in keeping with Simmons et al., by34,39,40:



Form-factor P(E, T) on this connection is given by:

$$P(E,,T)=e(E,,T)exp (-fracbeta _^T,e(E,,T)dT).$$


The operate e(E, T) is the discharge chance together with the attempt-to-escape frequency ω and might be described by:

$$e(E,,T)=omega ,exp (-fracEkT).$$


P(E, T) might be approximated by a δ-function contemplating the related space D (see39 for extra particulars) by:

$$P(E,,T)=Ddelta (E-E_max).$$


This reduces (5) to:

$$fracdncong D_(E)N(E_max),$$


with dP(E, T)/dE = zero, Simmons et al. instructed the answer

$$E=T(a,mathrm(fracomega beta )+b)-c$$


with parameters a = 1.92 × 10−Four, b = Three.2 × 10−Four and c = 1.5 × 10−2. From this equation, ω might be estimated by measuring the temperature of the present peak at two totally different warmth charges (β1 = Three.75 °C min−1 and β2 = 6 °C min−1). The decided worth of three.6 × 1013 Hz for iCVD PTFE exhibits glorious settlement to reported values for business PTFE (7 × 1013 Hz)34. The activation vitality of the traps is estimated to Ea = 1.163 eV. The iCVD approach permits moreover to tune these properties by a change within the deposition parameters. They’ve a direct affect on the underlying free radical polymerization and therefore the ensuing structural properties, like molecular weight and crystallinity of the PTFE skinny movie. Fig. 4d exhibits two iCVD PTFE skinny movie electrets with an identical movie thickness (13 µm) grown at totally different course of pressures. The discount in imply free path in the course of the response (125 Pa) is accompanied with a lower in thermal cost stability, as seen in Fig. 4d. The iCVD permits thus a direct management of the cost trapping habits within the polymer movie by way of the deposition parameters. This could be used to tune the cost trapping of the electret layer in e.g. electret memristors8 or related purposes. The offered outcomes present that the iCVD approach is nicely relevant for the manufacturing of PTFE skinny movies for electret purposes due to their glorious resemblance to business PTFE with regard to chemical and dielectric properties. The delicate deposition circumstances allow moreover the deposition on temperature delicate substrates like versatile natural substrates for subsequent era natural electret gadgets. The conformal progress and simple scale-up permits moreover a simple integration into state-of-the-art microelectronic processing strains and might be thought of for subsequent era fluoropolymer skinny movie electret fabrication.

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