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Modified Polyimede Films


Enhancing Functional Efficiency of Polyimide Films by Forming Nanocomposites, Metal Ion Doping and Chemical Modification

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-ELE/Organic and Electronics Materials/Materials
  • PHY-SSP/Solid State Physics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Academy of Sciences / Physical Technical Institute, Russia, St Petersburg


  • E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, USA, DE, Wilmington

Project summary

The main objective of this Project is performing the characterization using combined analytical techniques for the better understanding the mechanisms of the proposed functional enhancement of thin polyimide (PI) films.

PI films without the proposed enhancement offer unique dielectric, thermal and mechanical properties over the temperature range from –2690 till 4000C. Amongst their basic important applications may be mentioned such as the dielectric substrates of flexible printed circuits; the responsible cable/wire insulation in automotive, aircraft industries as well as in computers, communication equipment, etc. However, at the current stage of high-tech development new performance demands arise to PI films, in particular from high-speed/high-frequency electronics, due to the problem of ultra-miniaturization of memory devices, and for extreme-performance cable/wire insulation. Thus, the further improving stiffness, decreasing thermal coefficient of expansion and enhancing creep resistance of PI films at elevated mechanical stresses and the temperatures of 300-4000C and higher, and the higher stability of laminated structure films are needed to take advantage of constituents’ unique properties.

The Collaborator of this project, DuPont Company (USA), as a world leader in development and manufacturing of PI materials, has experience in polyimide films and laminated films, from which the new development is based on. DuPont scientists will continue past years of development aiming at new, with better characteristics, PI films, to meet new market demands.

In this project, it is planned to achieve the above objective: by studying a large group (5 series, 27 samples) of lab-made PI films with ca. 0.02 mm thickness; and by comprehensive and combined effort in characterization of composition/processing/structure/properties relationships in proposed materials using ten complementary physical techniques, including also new analytical approaches.

In the project, the anticipated optimization in structure, morphology, molecular dynamics, thermal properties as well as in stiffness and creep resistance over the 20-5000C range of PI films, caused by compositional changes, are to be studied. The following factors must be studied therein:

  • impact of introducing the various types of inorganic fillers including nanoclay particles;
  • impact of doping PI films with different metal ions or organic molecular additives;
  • the distribution morphology of unlike monomer units in соpolyimide chains, via comparing the structures and properties of synthesized block versus random copolyimides with the same constituents and their ratios in chains;
  • the comparative structural study of the air-side and belt-side surfaces in PI films for attaining the better understanding the difference in their behavior.

The outcome being expected is as follows:
  • finding the reliable correlations of the compositions and procedures in polymerization and processing conditions of PI films with their structure and properties;
  • attaining better understanding the mechanisms of enhancement in PI films from controls and the proposed films;
  • technical discussions and recommendations in new way of preparing PI films based on combined analytical results on whether or not the high-performance has achieved, in particular under extreme temperature conditions of 300-5000C, and in laminated films;
  • joint research collaboration in publication of the articles and joint contributions to International Conferences based on the results to be obtained.

These results may be of obvious scientific and applied interest for both DuPont and other producers of PI materials including the Russians. The project will be performed simultaneously in IMC RAS and PTI RAS, in collaboration with DuPont scientists.

The two Russian teams consist of 5 researchers from IMS and 5 researchers from PTI. It includes 2 Professors and 6 PhD scientists. They have many-year experience and numerous publications (see “Supporting Information”) in physical research of PI materials and using the techniques to be applied to the project; a few articles were published in co-authorship with DuPont scientists.

IMC team will be dealing with the studies of structure, morphology, molecular packing density, distribution of nanofiller particles in PI films using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic-force microscopy (AFM), polarized optical microscopy (POM), and densitometry techniques. PTI team will be dealing with the studies of molecular dynamics, possible conglomerating and clustering of the doped particles and metal ions in films, and with their thermal, elastic and creep resistance properties over the temperature range of 20-5000C as studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), far-infrared (FIR) spectroscopy, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and laser-interferometric creep rate spectroscopy (CRS). It should be mentioned that the latter high-resolution technique of relaxation spectrometry and thermal analysis was developed and successfully used by the applicants.

DuPont scientists will provide to the applicants all tentative lab-made PI films and also estimate their dielectric properties, peel strength and thermal expansion coefficient. The results will be analyzed by DuPont and Russian scientists, and gained experience can be used for future development work in Russia and DuPont.

The project satisfies to ISTC goals through (a) providing weapon scientists and engineers in Russia the opportunities to redirect their knowledge, skill and capabilities to peaceful activities; (b) promoting the further integration of Russian scientists into the international scientific community; (c) supporting this research aimed at the advanced technologies for peaceful purposes, and (d) reinforcing the transition to market-based economics responsive to civil needs by means of obtaining a new information on the ways for enhancing functional efficiency of the important polymeric materials.


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ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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