Adhesion of Cu and Cr to polyimide was studied by 90° peel test, AES, and X-ray diffraction. The two necessary conditions of the high adhesion strength were the presence of Cr interlayer and the preactivation of the polymer surface by RF plasma treatment. The Cr is thought to react with activated polyimide to form carbide-like bonds which enhance the adhesion strength drastically. Correlations between the peel strength and C260/Cr527 Auger PHR from the peeled metal strip were good. Qualitatively, the peel strength is related to the amount of plastic deformation done on the metal strip during peeling.