Large Area Patterning
By use of the roll-to-roll pilot line, functional structures with a spatial resolution of down to 100 nm can be created on continuous large-area foil substrates at web speeds of up to 30 m/min. Both, UV nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) and hot embossing, are available.
High-Resolution Gravure Printing
Gravure printing allows both, uniform (reverse mode) and patterned coating (direct mode).
Reverse gravure printing produces ultra-thin layers (<500 nm) of resists, dielectric or sensor materials.
The direct mode allows the creation of patterns based on different materials to be applied such as conducting (e.g. PEDOT:PSS) or semiconducting polymers (e.g. P3HT). Depending on accuracy and design of the gravure cylinder, a spatial resolution of down to 50 µm can be achieved.
Ultra-fast high resolution camera
In order to achieve roll-to-roll imprinting under defined and stable conditions with high throughput, the structuring process must be monitored and controlled inline. In the R2R-NIL pilot line, a fast high-resolution camera has been installed for this purpose that records the NIL process with micron resolution and correlates the result with a stored "golden image" standard. The recording width is up to 1.6 cm.
This process surveillance camera allows timely intervention if errors occur during the R2R embossing process. The goal is to set up a control loop in which process variations are actively controlled through, for example, regulation of the embossing pressure or light intensity.
Anti-adhesive coatings for imprinting tools
In micro and nanoimprint lithography, the demolding and/or removal of the imprinting tool (shim) from the resist is a critical step. Resist residuals that remain on the tool cause defects during subsequent patterning steps. Anti-adhesive coatings based on self-assembled monolayers of fluorinated compounds are often used. These have, however, only a very limited lifetime and degrading effectiveness during the continuous imprinting process.
We optimize anti-adhesive coatings for R2R nickel shims in collaboration with partners and adapt these to specific requirements. The coatings have exceptional stability, the durability is much higher than for fluorinated monolayers and the coatings are perfectly adapted to the respective application.
UV-curable resists for imprint processes and polymer shims
We develop specialized UV resists, which are adapted to meet specific customer needs. As an example, water-soluble UV-resists have been created that are ideal sacrificial layers for the patterning of subsequently applied metal-based or other functional coatings, removed by means of lift-off processes. In addition, durable, weather, solvent, and scratch resistant UV-resists have been especially adapted for being used in imprinting processes. These UV-resists can be used in a wide variety of applications, due to their hardness, elasticity and surface energy (as well as their optical properties). On a polymer-based substrate, imprinted layers of this material class with sufficiently high hardness and low surface energy can even be used as low-cost polymer imprinting tools (shims).