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Keywords:

  • UHMWPE fibers;
  • electroless plating;
  • mussel-inspired surface;
  • polyethylene;
  • conducting polymers

Abstract

The conductive ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene fibers are fabricated by electroless silver plating. The extremely inert and smooth surfaces of fibers are first activated by dopamine self-polymerization. Then, metallic silver layers are deposited on the surface via electroless silver plating. The chemical composition, surface topography, and crystal structure of fibers are studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The XPS spectra certify the existence of polydopamine layer on surface. The XPS spectra and the XRD spectra prove that the silver particles deposited on the surface are pure in zero-value state and of high crystallinity. The resistance of the silver-coated fibers is 0.15 Ω/cm per bundle measured by two-point method. These conductive fibers with high conductivity are expected to use as the electrical wires. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013