NILshim deals with the development of technologies that can be used to significantly improve the quality of R2R embossing tools (shims). On one hand, Ni-shims are coated with novel high-tech materials to obtain industrially usable imprinting tools with improved surface properties. These coatings based on fluorinated diamond-like carbon (F-DLC) or polymer-like carbon (F-PLC) layers are applied by plasma-assisted vacuum processes. On the other hand, a new generation of shims from functionalized polyurethane derivatives will be developed, which, in contrast to Ni shims, can be manufactured inexpensively, are UV transparent and whose surface chemistry can be optimally adjusted for specific applications.
The main technological objectives in the improvement of imprinting tools are: to increase mechanical resistance and stability, thereby reducing wastage of the very costly Ni shims, to avoid resist adhesion, reduce cleaning processes, and to increase surface hardness and the dimensional stability of the nanostructure reliefs.
The Institute MATERIALS develops and optimizes coatings for Ni shims and offers specific applications that are optimized for imprint resist systems.