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A new laser assisted palladium-free activation technology for ABS plastic surface electroless copper plating

Dongling Xiong

Abstract

A new palladium-free activation technology for ABS plastic electroless copper plating is proposed. The plastic substrate is pretreated, and then placed in an activating solution prepared by mixing copper sulfate and sodium hypophosphite for 30 minutes. The plastic substrate is dried to form an activation layer at the surface, which is then uniformly scanned with a laser to allow the hypophosphite ions to be reduced into catalytically active copper particles. The effects of the formation of the activating solution and the laser parameters on the activation are studied. The parameters are optimized by using the orthogonal test. The microstructure of the coating is observed by scanning electron microscope. The energy spectrum of the substrate after laser activation is analyzed. Impact test is processed for coating binding detection. The results show that when the concentrations of copper sulphate and sodium hypophosphite are 10g/L and 30g/L respectively, and the laser spot diameter is 2mm and the scanning rate is 2.2mm/s, the coating completely covers the substrate and the surface of the substrate is uniformly coated with copper particles, showing compact microstructure and good binding.


Keywords

ABS plastics; surface; laser activation; electroless copper plating

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References

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/jcra.v1i1.775
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