Polymers can be used as temporary place holders in the fabrication of embedded air gaps in a variety of electronic devices. Embedded air cavities can provide the lowest dielectric constant and loss for electrical insulation, mechanical compliance in devices where low-force deformations are desirable, and can temporarily protect movable parts during processing. Several families of polymers have been used as sacrificial, templating polymers including polycarbonates, polynorbornenes (PNBs), and polyaldehydes. The families can be distinguished by chemical structure and decomposition temperature. The decomposition temperature ranges from over 400 °C to below room temperature in the case of low ceiling temperature polymers. Overcoat materials include silicon dioxide, polyimides, epoxy, and bis-benzocyclobutene (BCB). The methods of air-gap fabrication are discussed. Finally, the use of photoactive compounds in the patterning of the sacrificial polymers is reviewed.

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