Selective electroless metallization of non-conductive substrates enabled by a Fe3O4/Ag catalyst and a gradient magnetic field

Sofya Danilova, John Graves, Andrew Cobley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    138 Downloads (Pure)


    The formation of printed circuit patterns on non-conductive substrates has many applications in high 7 value sectors such as the electronics sector. Current semi-additive and subtractive circuit 8 manufacturing processes use photolithography to pattern substrates coated with a thin or relatively 9 thick metal film. This process is often wasteful and expensive. Using an innovative approach; 10 composite Fe3O4-Ag nanoparticles were synthesized and attracted to a magnetic field. The 11 nanoparticles catalysed electroless copper deposition. Such a catalyst is new to electroless plating and 12 was deposited selectively on a dielectric substrate using a gradient magnetic field. In this way, 13 subsequent electroless copper plating occurred exclusively where the magnetic field was applied, 14 whilst the remaining surface was free of deposited metal. The advantage of this additive method of 15 manufacture is that less material is needed and less waste is produced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)170-173
    Number of pages4
    JournalMaterials Letters
    Early online date19 Feb 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2018

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Materials Letters. 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 Materials Letters, 219, (2017)] DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2018.02.062

    © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


    • Deposition
    • Electroless
    • Magnetic
    • Nanoparticles
    • Selective


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