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Using Electroless Deposition for the Preparation of Micron Sized Polymer/Metal Core/Shell Particles and Hollow Metal Spheres

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journal contribution
posted on 23.02.2006, 00:00 by Pietro Tierno, Werner A. Goedel
Uniform and stable core-shell microspheres composed of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) core and a thin metallic shell of nickel−phosphorus, cobalt−phosphorus, or mixed metal alloys (CoNiP, NiFeP, CoFeP) were prepared by dispersion polymerization of methyl methacrylate followed by electroless plating. The presence of the metallic shell around the particles was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and photoelectron spectroscopy. Transmission electron microscopy images of the cross-section of individual particles show that the thickness of the metal/alloy can be precisely tuned by adjusting the immersion time of the microspheres in the electroless bath. Depending on the deposited metallic material, various magnetic properties, from paramagnetic to ferromagnetic, are achieved. Finally, uniform hollow metallic spheres composed of nickel, cobalt, or nickel−cobalt alloy are obtained by dissolving the polymer core.