Liling He


The objective of this thesis is to improve the atomic oxygen resistance of polyimide Kapton by incorporating zirconium components. Toward this end, zirconium complexes/polyimide "composites",. zirconium-containing poly(maleimide)/ polyimide "blends" and polyimide polymers with zirconium complexes as "pendants" have been investigated. Tetra(acetylacetonato)zirconium(IV), Zr(acac)4_ has been identified as the best zirconium-containing atomic oxygen resistance component for polyimide composites with good film uniformity, flexibility and tensile strength. A 24-layer 10% Zr(acac)4/PI (mol/mol) composite film shows a 20 fold improvement of atomic oxygen resistance over pure polyimide. However, a 10% by mole upper limit of Zr(acac)4 in PI was encountered, above which films become brittle and crack upon imidization. Some initial phase separation in the 10% by mole film was revealed by Scanning Electronic Microscopy (SEM). In order to increase the upper limit of inorganic component, (4-amino-N,N'- disalicylidene- 1,2-1 phenylenediaminato)(,2-phenylenediaminato) zirconium(IV), Zr(adsp)(dsp), was synthesized and bonded to poly(maleic anhydride). The pendant polymer was then mixed with polyamic acid of Kapton. The upper limit was moved up to 8% by mole from 4% by mole for Zr(dsp)2. To further increase the zirconium incorporation ratio, Zr(adsp)(dsp) was directly bonded to a Kapton-like terpolymer and 30% by mole has been achieved. Further research needs to be done to improve the film quality made from this terpolymer. *For correct numerical representations, refer to file

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Kapton (Trademark)--Effect of space environment on; Polyimides--Additives--Research; Polyimides--Effect of space environment on

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Illingsworth, M.


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TP1180.P66 H4 1996


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