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Plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of Al2O3 and parylene C bi-layer encapsulation for chronic implantable electronics
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Encapsulation of biomedical implants with complex three dimensional geometries is one of the greatest challenges achieving long-term functionality and stability. This report presents an encapsulation scheme that combines Al2O3 by atomic layer deposition with parylene C for implantable electronic systems. The Al2O3-parylene C bi-layer was used to encapsulate interdigitated electrodes, which were tested invitro by soak testing in phosphate buffered saline solution at body temperature (37 °C) and elevated temperatures (57 °C and 67 °C) for accelerated lifetime testing up to 5 months. Leakage current and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were measured for evaluating the integrity and insulation performance of the coating. Leakage current was stably about 15 pA at 5 V dc, and impedance was constantly about 3.5 MΩ at 1 kHz by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for samples under 67 °C about 5 months (approximately equivalent to 40 months at 37 °C). Alumina and parylene coating lasted at least 3 times longer than parylene coated samples tested at 80 °C. The excellent insulation performance of the encapsulation shows its potential usefulness for chronic implants.
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