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electroplating conductive polymer

Posted by spota 
electroplating conductive polymer
August 05, 2007 03:46PM
I get confused with the forum sections... never know where to publish these things, if here or on the general section... well I'll copy the thread here also, sorry for those who read it on the other side:

Hi all!

After my vacations i have been a little slow to set up some new test procedures and i have decided to start with something quick and easy. On Saturday, July 07 i had prepared a copper powder loaded adhesive which i spread in rough threads over a plastic board (watch it here [builders.reprap.org]). These threads had shown to have a quite high resistance of 70 kOhms sometimes lower, but always in the range of the kOhms. I had discussed that the next step would be trying to plate it by using a copper salt solution.
That's what i did today. nothing fancy: a copper salt sold in gardening shops as fungicide. it wasn't even copper sulfate which would be the ideal salt to use. I connected the - pole to the threads on the board i had fabricated and plunged a large section of copper cable in the solution, connected to the + pole. The reaction went on fairly slow but i got it going, wich was more than i had expected. After just a couple of hours i removed the board from the solution and measured the resistance again: 6 Ohms!!! grinning smiley

It's still high but it's a 10000 fold decrease! I know that i can do better than this by increasing the initial copper power load in the adhesive, by using a proper copper sulfate solution for electroplating and by leaving it the whole night. Also I want to try and print some of these threads on some proper PCB material and make the plating thick enough to have a try and weld something in it. I guess we are getting very close at having a solution for printing boards smiling smiley
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