Characterizing mixed dielectrics for hard, low adhesion coatings

Surface coatings find widespread uses in everything from eyeglasses to machine tools. For electrical sensor devices, including devices for cancer screening and for toxic gas sensing, it’s especially important to have coatings that are hard and durable and adhere well to gold electrodes, but are not sticky to organic molecules. Currently-used materials have several useful properties but don’t adhere to gold without rather complicated multi-layer fabrication processes and are easily fouled by organics that stick quite easily to the coating. Micralyne has been developing compounds that appear superior to currently-used materials but we don’t fully understand the controlling parameters and therefore cannot adequately optimize the material properties. In this short, one-term project, we will produce films at Micralyne’s R&D facility and use a suite of characterization tools available at the U-Alberta campus in order to measure, characterize, and understand the key parameters required to create the best sensor interfaces possible.

Esther Eke
Faculty Supervisor: 
Al Meldrum
Partner University: