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Fabrication of conductive copper patterns using reactive inkjet printing followed by two-step electroless plating

: Chen, J.-J.; Lin, G.-Q.; Wang, Y.; Sowade, E.; Baumann, R.R.; Feng, Z.-S.


Applied surface science 396 (2017), S.202-207
ISSN: 0169-4332
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

A simple and low-cost process for fabricating conductive copper patterns on flexible polyimide substrates was demonstrated. Copper catalyst patterns were first produced on polyimide substrates using reactive inkjet printing of Cu (II)-bearing ink and reducing ink, and then the conductive copper patterns were generated after a two-step electroless plating procedure. The copper layers were characterized by optical microscope, SEM, XRD and EDS. Homogeneously distributed copper nanoclusters were found in the catalyst patterns. A thin copper layer with uniform particle size was formed after first-step electroless plating, and a thick copper layer of about 14.3 μm with closely packed structure and fine crystallinity was produced after second-step electroless plating. This resulting copper layer had good solderability, reliable adhesion strength and a low resistivity of 5.68 μΩ cm without any sintering process.