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February 8th, 2010
Yu-Chong Tai, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been using parylene for a range of applications to create unique nano-devices.
In his cleanroom laboratory, Tai can deposit a variety of standard thin-film materials and add parylene to the mix. This allows him to combine mono-layers of various types of materials to assemble interesting composite structures.
Basically, Tai is working with "combined semiconductor" deposition technology on a laboratory scale and adding the unique properties of parylene. Laboratory systems provide the same process as basic semiconductor deposition, only on a convenient, research-based level.
For the past ten years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been funding Tai to make micro implants made partly from parylene. These devices, which differ from traditional implants such as pacemakers, have been implanted into the brain for neurostimulation and recording.
Cornell University is also involved in research using parylene materials. The Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF) focuses on a wide range of semiconductor processing equipment for building nano-devices.
Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN)—an integrated partnership of fourteen user facilities, including the CNF—provides superior opportunities for nanoscience and nanotechnology research. The network provides support in nanoscale fabrication, synthesis, characterization, modeling, design, computation, and training in an open, hands-on environment available to all qualified users.
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