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Polyimides (PI) are a class of chemicals which contains the imide grouo, where a nitrogen is connected to two carbonyl groups via a single sigma bond O=C-NR-C=O, widely used in microfabrication fabrication. They are use as photoresist (photopatternable), substrate, sacrificial layer, planarization material and structural material. Polyimides have excellent chemical and radiation resistance and low water absorbance, are good dielectrics and are thermally stable up to approx. 350°C, and some are bio compatible. Polyimides have good mechanical properties, films have low stress and some are vacuum compatible (i.e. Kapton, Vespel). There are some machinable polyimides, like Vespel (also good dielectric) that is often used in UHV. Polyimides are fabricated in a wide variety of chemical derivatives to enhance a particular property. In microfabrication polyimide can be spun (available in different viscosities) and cured, patterned, used as a substrate (films come in different thicknesses, and sizes, with and without adhesive).


Polyimides are spun and cured at LNF. LNF stocks PI in two viscosities from HD Microsystems PI: 2610 (1um - 2.5um) and 2611 (3 um - 9 um). They are stored in small brown bottles that are replaced every month to insure freshness.

Deposition Equipment

Etching Equipment

Characterization Equipment

Polyimide can be charaterized in the following instruments:


At LNF polyimides are used as:

  • Substrate material for flexible electronics, sensors, probes, etc.
  • Planarization material
  • Dielectrics
  • Sacrificial layer
  • Kapton® tape, a polyimide developped by DuPont™, is widely used in plasma based processes as masking material

Other Relevant Material Information

Technical Data