The development of facile and environment friendly strategies to metallize the surface of insulating polymeric substrates is of paramount important. An acceptable film adhesion with the polymeric substrate usually requires a chemical pretreatment of the polymer surfaces. Here we report a one-step process of covalent grafting of vinylpyridine groups on the surface of commercial Plexiglas® (polymethylmethacrylate) employing diazonium-based aqueous chemistry, without requiring any surface pretreatment step. Prior to the electroless nickel plating, these grafted vinylpyridine groups can be easily activated by simply immersing the substrate into an acidic palladium chloride solution. This results in stable electrostatic interaction between the protonated pyridine functionalities and the palladium complexes. Thanks to the strong attachment to the substrate, this vinylpyridine seed layer also offers excellent adhesion between the Plexiglas® substrate and the electrolessly deposited nickel‑boron film. A sizable patterned Plexiglas® sample has been taken as a model considering its commercial potential and metallized. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is carried out to elucidate the mechanism of surface functionalization with pyridine groups as well as the activation of the grafted vinylpyridine seed layer. Comprehensive characterization of the electrolessly deposited metallic film is then performed by means of SEM, AFM, EDX and XPS techniques.
Materials & design – Elsevier
Published: Apr 15, 2018
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