Coat to conserve

Published: Sunday 31 March 1996

A polymer coating designed to protect electronic components like microchips has been developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, Germany. The film -which is about 100 nanometres thick -is produced by electrodeposition in which the amino resins are broken down chemically by an electric current.

The polymers are continuously linked and then hardened until they produce a microscopically thin but unbroken electrolytic coating which is scratch and water-proof and resistant to chemicals. The developers say the technology can be readily incorporated into microchip manufacture.

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