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Depositing of Metal on Polymer Substrate

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000089290D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mittal, KL: AUTHOR

Abstract

Polymers can be classed as either polar or nonpolar and as acidic, neutral, or basic. When a thin metal film is to be vacuum-deposited on a polymer substrate, it is advantageous to choose a polar polymer. Strong adhesion between the metal and the polar polymer occurs by polar interaction between the two. One familiar example of a polar polymer is polystyrene.

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Depositing of Metal on Polymer Substrate

Polymers can be classed as either polar or nonpolar and as acidic, neutral, or basic. When a thin metal film is to be vacuum-deposited on a polymer substrate, it is advantageous to choose a polar polymer. Strong adhesion between the metal and the polar polymer occurs by polar interaction between the two. One familiar example of a polar polymer is polystyrene.

When the substrate is a nonpolar polymer, such as polyethylene, it is advantageous to activate the surface of the substrate with a thin layer of a polar polymer before forming the metal layer. The layer of the activator polymer can be formed by placing the substrate in a vacuum chamber, containing the monomer in the vapor phase, and subjecting the vapor to a glow discharge.

Good adhesion occurs between the substrate and the activator layer when the substrate is acidic and the activator polymer is basic. An acidic polymer accepts electrons; an example is a plasma-deposited film of polytetrafluoroethylene. A basic polymer traps positive charges; examples are polystyrene, polychlorostyrene, polyvinylchloride, polyvnylacetate, polycarbonate, and cellulose tributyrate. When the activator polymer is deposited by the glow- discharge technique, active groups are generated that react strongly with the subsequently deposited metal layer.

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