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Selective Electroless Copper Metallisation of Epoxy Substrates

  • L. M. Campion (a1), M. O'reilly (a1), D. J. Macauley (a1), P. V. Kelly (a1) and G. M. Crean (a1)...


This paper discusses the development of a novel selective electroless copper metallisation route for the plating of epoxy substrates. This has the potential for the development of a more cost effective and environmentally friendly plating process than currently available technologies. The electroless process required that the electrically insulating epoxy substrate was initially activated to catalyse the reduction of the copper (I1) salt which was in solution to a copper (0) deposit. Selective activation was achieved by coating the epoxy substrates with a new proprietary palladium compound and selectively exposing specific areas to 222nm radiation from a KrCI* excimer lamp. It has been shown that only the palladium metal and not the proprietary precursor catalyse the reaction. After selective seeding the patterned epoxy substrates were copper plated in a commercial electroless copper bath. The process conditions and effect of surface preparation on the quality and resolution of the selectively deposited copper patterns are discussed.



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