Delamination of polyimide in hydrofluoric acid


  • Asaad K. Edaan Al-mashaal University of Basrah, Polymer Research Centre, Material Science Department, Basrah, 61004, Iraq
  • Rebecca Cheung The University of Edinburgh, Scottish Microelectronics Centre, School of Engineering, Edinburgh EH9 3FF, UK



polyimide, delamination, wet etching, hydrofluoric acid


Wet etching is a critical fabrication step for the mass production of micro and nanoelectronic devices. However, when an extremely corrosive acid such as hydrofluoric (HF) acid are used during etching, an undesirable damage might occur if the device includes a material that is not compatible with the acid. Polyimide thin films can serve as sacrificial/structural layers to fabricate freestanding or flexible devices. The importance of polyimide in microelectronics is due to its relatively low stress and compatibility with standard micromachining processes. In this work, a fast delamination process of a 4-μm-thin film of polyimide from a silicon substrate has been demonstrated. The films’ detachment has been performed using a wet-based etchant of HF acid. Specifically, the effect of HF concentration on the delamination time required to detach the polyimide film from the substrate has been investigated. This study is intended to provide the information on the compatibility of using polyimide films with HF, which can help in the design and fabrication of polyimide-based devices.


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