Metallization of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) by Means of Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition
A process has been developed for coating PTFE with copper. It consists of a plasma pretreatment with reactive gases such as O2 or CF4/O2 followed by a plasma deposition of a thin metallic layer of Pd, Pt, Au, or Cu and subsequent electroless and electrochemical copper plating. The coatings show excellent adhesion properties, limited only by the cohesive strength of the substrate. The PTFE surfaces have been studied with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) after different steps of the pretreatment. SEM reveals directly the roughening of the PTFE surface by the plasma etching step. XPS results for Pd-activated surfaces point to a chemical interaction between Pd and the fluorine atoms of the PTFE. This new process of metallization is a simple technique, avoids hazardous chemicals, requires no decontamination and can equally well be applied to other polymers.
KeywordsPlasma Etching Peel Test Peel Strength Plasma Deposition PTFE Surface
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