Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Donald K. Roper

Committee Member

Rick Ulrich

Second Committee Member

Jingyi Chen


Applied sciences, Electroless plating, Metallization, Tin


The tin sensitization process has been used in electroless plating since 1940s Brenner and Riddell developed the electroless plating for surface metallization method. It was found to be an interesting topic to study tin sensitization for chemically controlling metal deposition on different substrates, because the tin sensitization process had critical effects on the electroless plated metal thin films. Nowadays electroless plating metal deposition is still an important method for depositing metals. It has a few advantages over the vapor deposition and electrodeposition method, such as work in an ambient condition, on nonconductive substrates, and without extra power input. Applying electroless plating our lab has successfully fabricated ordered array of gold nanostructures, for example Dr. Blake fabricated gold nano rings by top-down electron-beam lithography, and Dr. Ahn fabricated hexagonal gold nano particles by bottom-up silica sphere self-assembly. Dr. Jang studied the silver catalytic particle formation and gold thin film dynamically formation in detail. However, the tin sensitization process has not be studied yet. Therefore, in this master's thesis the tin sensitization for electroless plating was researched.

In Chapter I an introduction was given for the tin sensitization process and the electroless plating method. In Chapter II the tin sensitization process for elctroless plating was reviewed. In Chapter III a rapid, straightforward, spectrophotometric method, based on the redox reaction of tin(II) with a mixture of N-bromosuccinimide (NBS) and 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine dihydrochloride (TMB-d) was developed for determining low concentrations of tin(II). In Chapter IV the spectrophotometric method developed in Chapter II was developed for quantitative measurement of stannous (tin(II)) concentrations on ceramic substrates. Effects of reagent concentration, exposure time, substrate physicochemistry, and post-exposure conditions on surface tin(II) content were evaluated. Aqueous immersion post-reaction doubled tin(II) surface concentration compared to drying in nitrogen before a two-minute air exposure. In Chapter V the 2D hexagonal arrays of gold nano rings were fabricated by coupling EBL and electroless plating. The future work of applying the results in this thesis was proposed in Chapter VI. Two directions were suggested, uniform metal deposition that could be comparable to vacuum deposition methods and fabricating ordered array of metal nanostructures.