Fabrication of Conductive Polymeric Films with Metallic Luster by Electroless Plating of Silver, Copper, and Nickel onto Polymethyl Methacrylate Beads

Document Type : Original Article


National Research Centre, Polymer and Pigments Department, El Buhouth st., Dokki, Giza, 12622, Egypt


This study aims to synergize electrically conductive metals such as silver (Ag), copper (Cu), and nickel (Ni) with insulating plastics such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which has the advantages of lightweight, good mechanical properties, and reasonable prices. Ag, Cu, and Ni NPs are used to metalize micronized PMMA beads by first etching the surface with stannous chloride, then palladium chloride is used to create activate sites, and lastly electroless plating the metals is achieved by chemically reducing the precursor with hydrazine. FTIR, XRD, SEM, and EDX analyses have been used to demonstrate the metallization process. The metalized micronized beads were used to prepare films by both cold and hot compression molding at room temperature and 170°C respectively, using 100 lb/in2 hydraulic pressure. The electrical conductivity of the molded films was evaluated. Both hot and cold molded Ag-metalized PMMA films showed outstanding conductivities in the range of 5×10-1 - 7×10-3 S/m. The electrical conductivity of Cu-metallized PMMA films was negatively affected by the accumulation of some formed copper oxides with the exception of hot molding 40% Cu which showed a conductivity of 1x 10-1 S/m. For PMMA films metallized with 20-30% Ni and compressed by either cold or hot molding showed a conductivity of about 5×10-2 S/m. The metal plating process imparts the plastic films a high aesthetic appearance, prevents the accumulation of dust on them, facilitates their cleaning and. reveals good to excellent semiconductors that have many applications in electronic fields such as sensors.


Main Subjects

Volume 67, Issue 13 - Serial Number 13
In Loving Memory of Late Professor Doctor ””Mohamed Refaat Hussein Mahran””
December 2024
Pages 589-597
  • Receive Date: 27 December 2023
  • Revise Date: 19 January 2024
  • Accept Date: 29 January 2024