9. Preparation of Polymer Thin Films by Physical Vapor Deposition

  1. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knoll2 and
  2. Prof. Dr. Rigoberto C. Advincula3
  1. Hiroaki Usui

Published Online: 7 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9783527638482.ch9

Functional Polymer Films: 2 Volume Set

Functional Polymer Films: 2 Volume Set

How to Cite

Usui, H. (2011) Preparation of Polymer Thin Films by Physical Vapor Deposition, in Functional Polymer Films: 2 Volume Set (eds W. Knoll and R. C. Advincula), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527638482.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 2

    AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria

  2. 3

    University of Houston, Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 136 Fleming Bldg., Houston, TX 77204-5003, USA

Author Information

  1. Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Department of Organic and Polymer Materials Chemistry Nakacho, Koganei Tokyo 184-8588, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527321902

Online ISBN: 9783527638482



  • polymer thin films;
  • physical vapor deposition;
  • vapor deposition of polymers;
  • ionization-assisted vapor deposition;
  • direct evaporation;
  • coevaporation;
  • radical polymerization


New dry-coating methods for preparing polymer thin films are proposed by the use of physical vapor deposition (PVD). According to the type of polymer material, the films can be vapor deposited with different strategies. Direct vapor deposition can be applied for such polymers as polyethylene or polytetrafluoroethylene that have weak intermolecular interaction. In general, polymer thin films are obtained by a vapor-deposition polymerization method, which evaporates monomer materials and produces polymer thin films by polymerization reaction on the substrate surface. Coevaporation of bifunctional monomers leads to stepwise reaction via polycondensation or polyaddition to obtain thin films of such polymers as polyimide and polyurea. This method can also be applied for preparing thin films of π-conjugated polymers. Another class of vapor-deposition polymerization utilizes chain-addition reaction to achieve radical polymerization of vinyl monomers. This method has advantages in obtaining higher degrees of polymerization and in enabling versatile molecular design. A surface-initiated vapor-deposition polymerization, which combines the self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with vapor deposition of monomers, is a unique method to grow polymer thin films that are chemically bound to the substrate surface. The solvent-free nature of PVD is convenient for the formation of nanometer-thick films and multilayer films that are sometimes required for device fabrication. Application of vapor-deposition polymerization for organic light-emitting diode is also described.