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Gold Electroless Plating on Graphite Composite




2006

Hi,
I am Bharat, a graduate student at Univ at Albany, New York. I am working on improving a Fuel cell efficiency by reducing the losses due to Contact resistance between bipolar plate & the carbon gas diffusion layer.

As the bipolar plate is a graphite composite (70% graphite particles + 30% vinyl ester resin) and does not have a 100% conductive surface area, there is a contact resistance when this surface comes into contact with a gas diffusion layer.

To increase the conductive surface area, we tried sputter depositing gold and it reduces the contact resistance. Now we would like to try a different (industrially less expensive) method of deposition- Electroless depositing.

We are using the conventional compounds KAuCl4, Na3PO4,2 Mercaptobenzothiazole & Trimethylamine borane for the bath @ PH 11.9 & 50 deg C. But the gold is not depositing on the composite graphite plate nor on a silicon wafer.

Could you please suggest me if a seed layer is required? If so, could you please suggest me what it is and what is the method of depositing a seed layer on both a graphite composite & Silicon wafer?

Kindly request you to advise me on these issues.

Thank you very much,

Bharat Avasarala
College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering - Albany, NY, USA




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