Selective metallization of alumina ceramics by inkjet printing combined with electroless copper plating
A convenient and efficient approach for selective metallization of alumina ceramics has been developed. The Ag+-bearing ink was firstly inkjet-printed on alumina ceramics to create catalytic activating layers for subsequent electroless copper plating (ECP), and then ECP was initiated to fabricate the desirable conductive patterns. A continuous copper layer with dense packing could be obtained by controlling the electroless plating process. A low resistivity of about 2.37 μΩ cm of the copper layer was achieved, which was only about 1.4 times higher than that of bulk copper. Moreover, such a copper layer exhibited satisfactory solderability, reliable adhesion to substrates and good stability in an ambient atmosphere. This approach proposed a potential way to realize surface metallization on ceramic substrates without high temperature and any sophisticated equipment.