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The Nanoporous Metallisation of Insulating Substrates through Photocatalytically Initiated Electroless Deposition (PIED)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2012

Michael A. Bromley
Affiliation:
Lancaster University, Engineering Department, Lancaster LA1 4YR, United Kingdom. E-mail addresses: m.bromley@lancaster.ac.uk, c.boxall@lancaster.ac.uk
Colin Boxall
Affiliation:
Lancaster University, Engineering Department, Lancaster LA1 4YR, United Kingdom. E-mail addresses: m.bromley@lancaster.ac.uk, c.boxall@lancaster.ac.uk
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Abstract

We report the novel use of semiconductor photocatalysis for the deposition of metal onto insulating surfaces and the in-process formation of nano-structured porosity within this metal. In the process of Photocatalytically Initiated Electroless Deposition (PIED) we have developed a controllable, spatially selective and versatile metallisation technique with several advantages over traditional, non-photocatalytic techniques such as enhanced controllability and purity of the deposit as well as reduced operational costs and environmental impact. With the addition of a self-assembled, hexagonally close-packed microparticle template to the substrate prior to metal deposition, PIED can be used to fabricate thin metal films with highly ordered porosity on the nano-scale. Nanoporous metallisation in this way is able to produce substrates with potentially wide applications such as membrane and separation technology, energy storage and sensors – especially surface enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (SERRS).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2012

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References

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