A new method for depositing metal onto a polymer surface has been developed in which the metal coating of polymer beads is performed with hydrazine functions as reducing agents on the surface of the polymer itself. In this study, glycidyl methacrylate-methyl methaerylate-divinyl benzene terpolymer was prepared as spherical beads with a suspension polymerization methodology. Beads of the polymer sample (210-420-mum fraction) containing 3.4 mmol g(-1) epoxy were treated with an excess of hydrazinium hydroxide to yield a polymer with 2.3 mmol g(-1) hydrazine functions. The hydrazine functions on the polymer surfaces were efficient in metal reductions. Therefore, the modified bead polymer samples, when soaked in aqueous ammonia solutions of Ni(II), Ag(I), and Cu(II) ions (0.1 M), were covered rapidly by the corresponding zero-valent metal ions. Metal deposition took place almost quantitatively (ca. 4.5 mmol/g of the polymer) within 60 min of the contact times. The accumulations of metal were followed visually and occurred only on the polymer beads. There was no evidence that the reaction occurred within the solution. (C) 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.