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Adsorption characteristic of copper ions and its application in electroless nickel plating on a hydrogel-functionalized poly(vinyl chloride) plastic

Wang, Ming-Qiu, Yan, Jun, Du, Shi-Guo, Zeng, Jian-Wei, Chang, Wen-Ping, Guo, Yi, Li, Hong-Guang
Journal of materials science 2013 v.48 no.20 pp. 7224-7237
X-radiation, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, adhesion, adsorption, catalysts, chitosan, copper, crosslinking, energy, glutaraldehyde, hydrocolloids, mixing, nanoparticles, nickel, pH, plastics, poly(vinyl chloride), polyethylene glycol, scanning electron microscopy, temperature
A facile and palladium-free process for the electroless plating on poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) plastic has been demonstrated. The process is based on the Cu adsorption capacity of semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) hydrogel chemically bonded to PVC surface via a simple and one-step approach that applying a chitosan/polyethylene glycol/glutaraldehyde system under mild stirring at room temperature. Therefore, electroless plating can be achieved in the following three steps, namely: (1) the functionalization of PVC by the semi-IPN hydrogel film (2) the adsorption and formation of the catalyst Cu⁰on the PVC surface, and (3) the electroless nickel plating in plating bath. Batch adsorption experiments are conducted to determine the effects of pH, initial Cu²⁺ions concentration and the dosage of crosslinking agent glutaraldehyde on copper adsorption and the surface resistance of the corresponding plated-PVC. The activated reaction progress and resulting nickel–phosphorus (Ni–P) layer were characterized by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The results show that the Cu nanoparticles chemisorbed on the functionalized PVC substrate, could effectively initial the subsequent electroless nickel plating; and a compact and continuous Ni–P layer with amorphous phase was successfully deposited on PVC by this process. Besides, the surface resistance of the plated-PVC as low as 0.5 Ω sq⁻¹showed an excellent adhesion with the PVC substrate proved by Scotch-tape test.