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10 May 2016 Resist behaviour during peeling release in nano-imprint lithography
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In order to minimize the defects formation when using nano-imprinting process we investigated the efforts applied on the resist during the release of the template. Lift-off release has already been characterized accurately but for peeling studies are still lacking. However from experimental results it has been observed that peeling offers better performances when it comes to limit the defects. Using finite element method we simulated imprinting on PMMA resist by a silicon template and extracted the maximal release force and the induced stress in the resist in regard to the template stiffness and the number of patterns imprinted. Compared to lift-off method we found that maximal release force was much lower and decided to investigate the induced stress behaviour. We observed that using peeling the maximal release force doesn’t increase linearly in function of the template size as in lift-off but instead saturates beyond a certain template size, that saturating point depending on the template stiffness, a low stiffness meaning a lower maximal release force. However we found an opposite trend when we extracted the induced stress in the resist which decreases as the template stiffness increases, theoretically resulting in fewer defects. This seems to be due to the smaller bending of the more rigid template that put less constraint on the imprinted features during the releasing and thus avoid breaking them in the process. Therefore according to these results, to minimize defects when peeling release method is employed we should use a highly rigid template.
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Florian Chalvin, Naoto Nakamura, Takamitsu Tochino, Masaaki Yasuda, Hiroaki Kawata, and Yoshihiko Hirai "Resist behaviour during peeling release in nano-imprint lithography", Proc. SPIE 9984, Photomask Japan 2016: XXIII Symposium on Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology, 99840K (10 May 2016);

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