Selective Electroless Copper Deposition by Using Photolithographic Polymer/Ag Nanocomposite

Assel Ryspayeva, Thomas D. A. Jones, Mohammadreza Nekouie Esfahani, Matthew P. Shuttleworth, Russell A. Harris, Robert W. Kay, Marc P. Y. Desmulliez, Jose Marques-Hueso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a novel, direct, selective, vacuum-free, and low-cost method of electroless copper deposition, allowing additive patterning of nonconductive surfaces. Ag nanoparticles (NPs) synthesized inside a photosensitive polymer are acting as seeds for electroless copper deposition. The resulting copper film surface morphology was studied with scanning electron microscopy. Copper films were shown to display a rough grainlike structure, covering substrate uniformly with good metal-substrate adhesion. Copper thickness was studied as a function of the plating time, temperature, and Ag NPs seed concentration. A maximal copper thickness of 0.44 ± 0.05 μm was achieved when plated at 30 °C with 0.4 M Ag(I). The minimum feature resolution of copper patterns, grown with 0.025- and 0.1-M silver salt, is attained down to 10 μm. The maximum electrical conductivity of the copper film prepared with 0.025-, 0.1-, and 0.4-M Ag(I) approaches (0.8 ± 0.1) × 10 7 S/m, (1.1 ± 0.1) × 10 7 S/m and (1.6 ± 0.4) × 10 7 S/m, respectively. Electroless copper interconnections and LED circuit on glass substrate were fabricated as a proof of concept demonstrators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1843-1848
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number4
Early online date15 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Ag nanoparticles (NPs) seeds
  • electroless copper
  • metallization of nonconductive surfaces
  • polymer/Ag nanocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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