Correlation Between Surface Chemistry of Polycarbonate and its Adhesion Behavior to Electrolessly Plated Copper

  • Ileana Isern-Flecha
  • Bo Boatwright


A fundamental requirement for improving adhesion of electrolessly plated copper (Cu) on polycarbonate (PC) components is to understand the chemical and physical changes that occur on the PC substrate surface during the multi-step electroless Cu plating process. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy has been used to study the surface chemistry of polycarbonate in the pre-copper plating steps, i.e., pre-etching, etching, and tin/palladium seeding reactions, of a commercial plating process. Surface imperfections, chemical changes in the polymer surface, and delamination between Cu and PC resulting from non-optimum conditions in the pre-etch and etch steps were observed. Furthermore, the relative concentrations of palladium and tin on the surface, which are known to be critical to the electroless plating ability, were also correlated with pre-etch and etch conditions.


Polymer Surface Electroless Plating Plating Process Etch Solution Etch Step 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ileana Isern-Flecha
    • 1
  • Bo Boatwright
    • 1
  1. 1.Entry Systems DivisionIBM CorporationBoca RatonUSA

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