Using Silanes as Adhesion Promoter
Adhesion (“sticking”) of resins to surfaces is often marginal, especially it the polymeric resin has no chemical affinity to bond to the substrate surface. Evidence of poor adhesion is seen as manual de-lamination when mechanical force is applied to the laminate or often as partial spontaneous de-lamination, especially at the edges of the device. Often moisture, acid or base promote this adhesive failure.

Organosilane coupling agents have been shown to dramatically improve the adhesion of polymeric resins to substrates such as glass, silica, alumina or active metals. The purpose of this paper is to review the basic principles of this technology, citing its preferred applications, limitations and application protocols. United Chemical Technologies (UCT) is a major manufacturer of these materials, and in many instances UCT catalog numbers will be introduced during discussion of individual reactions or in tabular data. In many chemical reactions the reacting groups are color coded for clarity.

Typically, the silane is functional at both ends and R is an active chemical group such as amino (NH2), mercapto (SH) or isocyanato (NCO) . This functionality can react with functional groups in an industrial resin or bio molecule such as peptides, oligonucleotides or DNA fragments. The other end consists of a halo (chloro most often) or alkoxy (most often methoxy or ethoxy) silane. This functionality is converted to active groups on hydrolysis called silanols .

The silanols can further react with themselves, generating oligomeric variations. All silanol variations can react with active surfaces that themselves contain hydroxyl (OH) groups.
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