, Volume 42, Issue 18, pp 7772-7779
Date: 03 Jun 2007

High electrical conductivity and high corrosion resistance fibers with high modulus and high strength prepared by electroless plating of gold on the surface of poly (p -phenylene benzobisoxazole) (PBO)

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In an attempt to produce glittering gold fibers with high modulus and high strength, gold plating on the surface of poly(p-phenylene benzobisoxazole) (PBO) fibers was carried out by using an electroless plating method. Due to the difficulty in plating gold directly on organic and inorganic fibers, gold plating was carried out on the surface of copper-plated and nickel-plated fibers; for the latter the nickel was plated on the copper-plated fibers. Namely, composite fibers, termed PBO/Cu/Au and PBO/Cu/Ni/Au, were prepared. The morphology of plated fibers was studied by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy and electrochemical polarization measurements. It was found that gold was uniformly plated on the PBO fiber, and the gold-plated fibers have good corrosion resistance. The electrical conductivities of the two kinds of gold-plated fibers were higher than 4 × 104 S/cm, and their tensile strengths and Young’s moduli were greater than 1.9 GPa and 130 GPa, respectively, when estimated in terms of a single composite fiber.