Published : 2021-01-15

Autocatalytic electroless copper plating of polymeric materials


The paper presents areview of experimental studies related to the process of autocatalytic electroless copper plating of selected polymeric materials. The effect of copper(II) acetylacetonate [Cu(acac)2] and copper(II) oxide (CuO), added together to polyamide 6 (PA6) or its composite on the metallization process is discussed. It was found that Cu(acac)2 and CuO applied together are effective precursors for copper deposition due to asynergistic action of the precursors, increasing significantly the rate of deposition. It was also shown that laser irradiation caused the formation of conical structure of PA6 surface containing these precursors. The material located on the tops of the cones does not undergo ablation, acting as amask protecting material situated below. Copper deposited in the autocatalytic electroless plating process has agrain structure. The grain size and the thickness of the deposited copper layer depend on the metallization time. The results of tests on new composite composed of PA6 matrix, Cu(acac)2 and CuO precursors and glass fibers have been discussed. This composite is characterized by good processing properties. The glass fibers significantly increase the adhesion strength of the deposited copper layer, which protects the matrix polymer from laser ablation. The results of preliminary tests of three new organometallic complexes have been presented, from which L-tyrosine-copper can be avaluable precursor for autocatalytic electroless copper plating of polymeric materials.




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Żenkiewicz, M., Moraczewski, K., Rytlewski, P., Stepczyńska, M., & Jagodziński, B. (2021). Autocatalytic electroless copper plating of polymeric materials. Polimery, 62(5), 371-379.