Nanolithography is a crucial step in the field in nanotechnology as it enables the patterning and fabrication of nanostructures. Traditional lithography relies on modification of the physical or chemical properties of a material by electrons or photons to form a pattern. Nanoimprint lithography relies on the direct mechanical deformation of a material to form the patterns and overcomes the resolution limits of traditional lithography. There is still a need for developing nanopatterning techniques that can achieve high resolution, yield high throughput and yet remain cost-effective.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a modified lithography method termed roll-to-roll nanoimprinting lithography (R2RNIL). The R2RNIL technique is based on a mechanical embossing approach, but with a nanopatterning speed that is increased at least by one order of magnitude. R2RNIL uses a roller type mold for imprinting on a flexible polymer web with high throughput and can potentially be used for patterning large areas without defects.
Applications and Advantages
- Fabrication of nanostructures and nano-devices
- Fabrication of large area metal wire grid polarizers
- High throughput, low-cost and high resolution
- Roller mold enables easier separation between mold and patterned structures thus resulting in lower number of defective patterns