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ME Webinar Series - Engineering Polymer Films, Structures, and Devices by Chemical Vapor Deposition

Event and Seminar

  • Date

    25 Feb 2022

  • Organiser

  • Time

    10:00 - 11:00

  • Venue

    Zoom (the meeting link will be sent to successful registrants)  


e-Certificate of attendance will be provided. Latecomer or early leaver of the webinar might NOT be eligible for an attendance certificate.

Guest Speaker : Prof. Kenneth K. S. Lau 

Professor and Associate Head, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Drexel University, USA 
Visiting Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, PolyU

Prof. Kenneth K. S. Lau is currently the director of a US Department of Education GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) Fellowship Program. He received his BEng (Chemical) from the National University of Singapore in 1995 and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. He was a postdoctoral associate at MIT before joining Drexel in 2006. His research centres on polymer thin films and devices, with interests in reaction engineering, process development, and materials and device engineering for applications in energy capture, energy storage, nanostructured materials, area-selective processing, and surface and interfacial design. He has authored/co-authored over 60 journal articles (including Nature Energy, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, and ACS Nano) and 7 book chapters, and is an inventor/co-inventor on 3 patents and 2 patent applications. He received the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008.

Engineering Polymer Films, Structures, and Devices by Chemical Vapor Deposition


Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a non-conventional route for constructing polymers as thin films, discrete structures, and integrated devices. Conventionally, polymer thin films are formed through liquid processing, like dip coating, spray coating and spin casting, while polymer patterns, structures, and devices are constructed through complex liquid-based procedures that typically involve subtractive lithography and additive printing. However, as applications push towards smaller dimensions and lighter-weight materials, whether to increase device density, reduce footprint or enable flexible platforms, CVD is an attractive processing route that overcomes many of the shortcomings of liquid-based approaches, like poor surface wettability, substrate corrosion and solvent contamination, yielding better material, surface/structural, and device properties.

This talk will highlight two emerging CVD approaches for engineering polymers that enable precise materials design and deliver high materials performance: initiated and oxidative chemical vapor deposition (iCVD and oCVD). iCVD relies on polymerization initiators to enable chemical conversion of monomer reactant to long-chain polymer, such as acrylates, vinyls, ethers, siloxanes and fluoropolymers, while oCVD relies on oxidants to enable simultaneous polymerization and oxidation of the monomer into electrically conducting polymers, such as thiophenes, pyrroles and anilines. Specifically, this talk will discuss our efforts in understanding the underpinning physicochemical factors that control polymer formation and evolution. These insights will be discussed in the context of enabling a broad range of applications in area-selective deposition, surface engineering, healthcare, sensors, and energy. Overall, these demonstrations aim to illustrate the strengths of iCVD and oCVD as they push the bounds on material, surface/structural, and device performance.

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