Functionalised Copper Nanoparticle Catalysts for Electroless Copper Plating on Textiles

Golnaz Taghavi Pourian Azar, Daryl Fox, Yirij Fedutik, Latha Krishnan, Andrew Cobley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)
    394 Downloads (Pure)


    Electroless copper plating can be regarded as an enabling technology for electronic textiles, however, the choice of catalyst is critical. In this study, electroless copper plating of a polyester textile was performed using catalysts including a palladium/tin colloid and catalysts based on silver and copper nanoparticles (CuNPs). These CuNPs were functionalised using different ligands including (3-Aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTS), oleic acid (OA) and polyacrylic acid (PAA). The catalysts were characterised using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). The efficacy of different catalysts was determined by characterising electroless copper plated textiles in terms of mass gain (after plating), the coatings coverage and deposits morphology using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). In addition, the sheet resistance of the plated textiles was measured using a four-point probe. The results revealed the important role of functionalising molecules on the performance of CuNPs as a catalyst. The overall best performing CuNP catalyst was CuNP-PAA which had Cu (I) species and the most dispersed and smallest particles. The amount of Cu (I) present in the catalyst, although low (1.7 at. %) seemed critical to the catalyst’s efficacy and its ability to produce a smooth and complete electroless copper coating with a very high conductivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number125971
    Number of pages9
    JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
    Early online date27 May 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2020

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Surface and Coatings Technology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Surface and Coatings Technology, 396, (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2020.125971

    © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


    European Union


    • Catalyst
    • Copper nanoparticle
    • Electroless copper plating
    • Functionalisation
    • Textile

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
    • Materials Chemistry


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