Manufacturing Process for Polymer Precursors to Diamond and Diamond-Like Carbon

Period of Performance: 08/28/2003 - 02/28/2004

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cenymer Corp.
2410 Trade Centre Ave
Longmont, CO 80503
Principal Investigator

Abstract

A critical problem facing the electronics industry is dissipation of thermal energy. Since diamond-like carbon (DLC) is an excellent thermal conductor and electrical insulator, it is ideal for use in electronics for heat dissipation. Many prototypes have been fabricated using DLC to verify the performance improvement it offers, but the costs and practical difficulties inherent in the fabrication of DLC by other means have prevented any wide-spread market adoption. Cenymer has developed a polymer that can be converted into DLC. The polymer is applied as a fluid, then converted in an inert atmosphere at ambient pressure and low temperature to a DLC film. The key benefit of the Cenymer polymer is that it can be applied using common semiconductor manufacturing methods and rapidly converted in an inexpensive oven. This method is less expensive to our customers in capital and time and is equal in properties to CVD DLC. We can currently manufacture sufficient quantities in one day to coat a single 200 mm wafer. In Phase 1, we will build a pilot plant that will increase the quantities by 10-fold. In Phase 2, we will build a plant that can increase the output by an additional 8-fold over Phase 1. Benefits: A novel, low cost method for making polymer precursors to diamond and diamond-like carbon thin films will be made capable for pilot volume manufacturing. Applications: These diamond thin films have properties that are beneficial to the semiconductor, magnetic recording, life sciences, micro-electro-mechanical ("MEMs"), optical, metal coatings, solid lubricant and military markets.