Selective Electroless Copper Plating of Ink-Jet Printed Textiles Using a Copper-Silver Nanoparticle Catalyst

Golnaz Taghavi Pourian Azar, Sofya Danilova, Latha Krishnan, Yirij Fedutik, Andrew J Cobley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electroless copper plating of textiles, which have been previously printed with a catalyst, is a promising method to selectively metallise them to produce high-reliability e-textiles, sensors and wearable electronics with wide-ranging applications in high-value sectors such as healthcare, sport, and the military. In this study, polyester textiles were ink-jet printed using differing numbers of printing cycles and printing directions with a functionalised copper-silver nanoparticle catalyst, followed by electroless copper plating. The catalyst was characterised using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Ultraviolet/Visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy. The electroless copper coatings were characterised by copper mass gain, visual appearance and electrical resistance in addition to their morphology and the plating coverage of the fibres using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Stiffness, laundering durability and colour fastness of the textiles were also analysed using a stiffness tester and Launder Ometer, respectively. The results indicated that in order to provide a metallised pattern with the desired conductivity, stiffness and laundering durability for e-textiles, the printing design, printing direction and the number of printing cycles of the catalyst should be carefully optimised considering the textile's structure. Achieving a highly conductive complete copper coating, together with an almost identical and sufficiently low stiffness on both sides of the textile can be considered as useful indicators to judge the suitability of the process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3467
Pages (from-to)3467
Issue number17
Early online date25 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • electroless copper plating
  • selective metallisation
  • nanoparticle catalyst
  • e-textiles
  • ink-jet printing


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective Electroless Copper Plating of Ink-Jet Printed Textiles Using a Copper-Silver Nanoparticle Catalyst'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this