Novel Bi-Layer Conformal Coating for Reliability Without Hermeticity MEMS Encapsulation

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Wong, C. P.
Wu, Jiali
Pike, Randy T.
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A flexible, smooth, and low profile conformal coating was developed to accomplish the encapsulation of a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device that will be applied to sense the static pressure on aircraft during real flight testing. The encapsulant should be able to protect the MEMS device and the multichip module (MCM) from adverse environmental conditions, i.e., mechanical shock, temperature fluctuation, engine fuel and oil contamination, and moisture/mobile ion permeation. Presently, conventional packaging schemes for electronics cannot satisfy this specific outdoor application, and a new encapsulation combination has been designed in accord with the requirement of reliability without hermeticity (RWOH). A bi-layer structure was selected because of property limitations of a single material. Pliable elastomeric silicones, are typically flexible, water repellant, and abrasion resistant. The silicone encapsulant will be first applied to planarize the MEMS surface and function as durable dielectric insulation, stress-relief, and shock/vibration absorbers over a wide humidity/temperature range. To compensate for the deficiency of silicone on engine fuel/oil contamination, Parylene C is to be deposited afterward. This bi-layer coating can achieve excellent bulk properties, such as moisture and mobile ion barrier resistance, chemical compatibility, and electrical insulation characteristics. However, the poor adhesion of Parylene C to silicone greatly restricts its application. To address this problem, silane coupling agents were used as an adhesion promoter. Significant adhesion im provement was achieved by placing an interlayer silane coupling agent to provide interfacial bonding to the silicone elastomeric surface and the Parylene C film. Furthermore, a possible mechanism of adhesion enhancement will also be presented in this study. Index Terms— Bi-layer conformal coating, micro-electromechanical system (MEMS), multichip module, Parylene C, reliability without hermeticity (RWOH), silane coupling agent, silicone elastomer.
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