(428c) Initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD) As a New Take On a Kinetics Lab | AIChE

(428c) Initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD) As a New Take On a Kinetics Lab


Burkey, D. D. - Presenter, University of Connecticut
Anastasio, D., University of Connecticut
Suresh, A., University of Connecticut

In this work, we describe the introduction of an initiated chemical vapor deposition reactor into the senior capstone laboratory at the University of Connecticut. Initiated chemical vapor deposition is a relatively new technique in which an initiator and a monomer species are volatilized and fed into a reactor at low pressure, where the initiator is activated (usually thermally or photolytically) and begins a polymerization reaction with the monomer. The thin films so produced are typically uniform and conformal, and can be broadly functionalized by varying the identity of the monomer species. These thin polymeric films find broad use in the semiconductor, biomedical, and specialty coating industries.

UConn purchased a turn-key iCVD reactor from GVD Corporation (Cambridge, MA), though with the proper expertise and facilities, it is very possible to fabricate a home-grown version of this system. The experiment was deployed for the first time in the fall of 2011 as a three-day experiment, and then expanded to a six-day experiment in the spring of 2012. Students are charged with exploring the reaction mechanism of one of a series of alkyl acrylate monomers, as well as determining kinetic parameters for their selected monomer. This experiment requires them to combine knowledge of equilibrium thermodynamics, mass transfer, polymer chemistry, and reaction kinetics to successfully complete the lab. In the fall of 2012, we asked the student groups working on the lab to each study a different monomer. They were able, with very little guidance, to reproduce the kinetic data produced via iCVD published in literature and make comparisons to their own data. Groups uniformly enjoyed the experiment and felt it represented a good addition to the lab as an example of modern chemical engineering technology.