We report on the dielectric properties and thermal stability of thin polymer films that are suitable candidates for replacing silicon dioxide as the intermetal dielectric material in integrated circuits. Parylene-F-like films, (–CF2–C6H4–CF2–)n, were produced by plasma deposition from a mixture of Ar and 1,4-bis(trifluoromethyl)benzene (CF3–C6H4–CF3) discharges and characterized using infrared absorption spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and capacitance measurements. The dielectric constant and the magnitude of the electronic and ionic contributions to the dielectric constant were determined through capacitance measurements and Kramers–Kronig analysis of the infrared absorption data. The film’s dielectric constant ranges between 2 and 2.6 depending on the deposition conditions and the largest contribution to the dielectric constant is electronic. The films deposited at 300 °C are stable above 400 °C and further optimization could push this limit to as high as 500 °C. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.