Electroless Cu Plating on Radiated Grafted Polymer
Abdel Aal1, V.V. Khutoryanskiy2, Z.S. Nurkeeva3 and G.A. Mun3
1Central Metallurgical Research & Development Institute (CMRDI),
Surface Protection &Corrosion Control Lab, P.O. 87 Hellwan,
2Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 224, RG6 6AD Reading, United Kingdom
Metallized plastics have recently received significant interest for their useful applications in electronic devices such as for integrated circuits, packaging, printed circuits and sensor applications. In this work the metallized films were developed by electroless copper plating of polyethylene films grafted with vinyl ether of monoethanoleamine. There are several techniques for metal deposition on surface of polymers such as evaporation, sputtering, electroless plating and electrolysis. In this work the metallized films were developed by electroless copper plating of polyethylene films grafted with vinyl ether of monoethanoleamine. Polyethylene films were subjected to gamma-radiation induced surface graft copolymerization with vinyl ether of monoethanolamine. Electroless copper plating was carried out effectively on the modified films. The catalytic processes for the electroless copper plating in the presence and the absence of SnCl2 sensitization were studied and the optimum activation conditions that give the highest plating rate were determined. The effect of grafting degree on the plating rate is studied. Electroless plating conditions (bath additives, pH and temperature) were optimized. Plating rate was determined gravimetrically and spectrophotometrically at different grafting degrees. The results reveal that plating rate is a function of degree of grafting and increases with increasing grafted vinyl ether of monoethanolamine onto polyethylene. It was found that pH 13 of electroless bath and plating temperature 40°C are the optimal conditions for the plating process. The increasing of grafting degree results in faster plating rate at the same pH and temperature. The surface morphology of the metallized films was investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The adhesion strength between the metallized layer and grafted polymer was studied using tensile machine. SEM photos and adhesion measurements clarified that uniform and adhered deposits were obtained under optimum conditions.