UV-NanoImprint Lithography (NIL) is a fast and low cost method, which becomes an increasingly important instrument for fabrication of μ-TAS and telecommunication devices. The key elements of UV-NIL are transparent molds and low viscosity resists. Two different transparent mold materials, allowing UV curing through the stamp, were developed: rigid quartz or flexible PDMS. Typical resist viscosities are in a range of <100mPas, ensuring fast and successful filling of the stamp cavities. UV-curing is carried out at a wavelength of 350-450 nm.
Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) is a fast, high resolution replication technology for micromechanics, microbiology and even for microelectronic applications in the sub-100nm range. The technique has been demonstrated to be a very promising next generation technique for large-area structure replication up to wafer-level in the micrometer and nanometer scale. For producing nanometer structures the capital investments required are much lower compared to other next generation methods (e-beam writing, x-ray lithography, EUV lithography, ...). Nanoimprint Lithography is based on two different techniques: Hot Embossing (HE) and UV-Nanoimprint Lithography (UV-NIL). Both methods can be used for replicating dense and isolated features in the range of 70nm to 100μm simultaneously on up to 200mm wafers.
While researchers of ever more advanced NGL systems are still struggling to demonstrate the feasibility to manufacture
features well below 100 nm at an affordable cost and a reasonable throughput, nanoimprint technologies are emerging as
a possible answer to these challenges. 100 nm patterns are imprinted with a fully patterned 4 inch diameter stamp in a
low-temperature embossing process. In low temperature imprinting processes with polymers having very low glass
transition temperatures heating and cooling cycles are minimized. This enables to increase the throughput of a hot
embossing process, which is important for potential industrial applications.