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Low dielectric constant nanocomposite thin films based on silica nanoparticle and organic thermosets§

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  • Official contribution of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, not subject to copyright in the United States.

  • Certain commercial equipment and materials are identified in this article in order to specify adequately the experimental procedure. In no case does such identification imply recommendation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology nor does it imply that the material or equipment identified is necessarily the best available for this purpose.

  • §

    This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

Low dielectric constant (low-k) nanocomposite thin films have been prepared by spin coating and thermal cure of solution mixtures of one of two organic low-k thermoset prepolymers and a silica nanoparticle with an average diameter of about 8 nm. The electrical, the mechanical, and the thermomechanical properties of these low-k nanocomposite thin films have been characterized with 4-point probe electrical measurements, nanoindentation measurements with an atomic force microscope, and specular X-ray reflectivity. Addition of the silica nanoparticle to the low-k organic thermosets enhances both the modulus and the hardness and reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion of the resultant nanocomposite thin films. The enhancements in the modulus of the nanocomposite thin films are less than those predicted by the Halpin-Tsai equations, presumably due to the relatively poor interfacial adhesion and/or the aggregation of the hydrophilic silica nanoparticles in the hydrophobic organic thermoset matrices. The addition of the silica nanoparticle to the low-k organic thermoset matrices increases the relative dielectric constant of the resultant nanocomposite thin films. The relative dielectric constant of the nanocomposite thin films has been found to agree fairly well with an additive formula based on the Debye equation. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 45: 1482–1493, 2007

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