Project Status: finished
Object of the ADDIMID project was the development of laser-sensitive thermoplastics. Irradiation with the laser modifies the surface characteristics in such a way that an electroless metallization process is catalyzed. The catalytic effect is due to SiO2-encapsulated copper particles that are added to a matrix polymer before injection molding. Selective laser irradiation of the workpiece exposes and partly vaporizes the copper particles. This causes a two-dimensional flash metallization around the vaporized copper particles, which results in a deposition of metal in a reductive copper bath. With a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser 1064 nm, the achievable structuring speeds are around 500 mm/s. After electro-plating, the peeling resistance on metalized polyamide substrates is around 0.3 N/mm.