What is Nanoimprinting? Since years researchers were trying to find a solution that can overcome the odds created by miniaturization technology. Finally, in 1995, a method emerged that allowed the creation of circuits by pressing the imprinting of a scale mask on the substrate called as “Nano imprinting”. Nanoimprint technology is used for manufacturing nanostructures for various nanoscale devices such as graphene-based transistors and nanoelectromechanical oscillators. Due to its advanced features, it is considered as one of the best alternatives to conventional lithographic technology.
How nano-imprinting is done? Nano imprinting technology uses a simple approach of physically applying a mask on the desired circuit pattern. It doesn’t require expensive optics, light sources with shorter wavelengths or multiple patterning machines. This kind of straightforward approach has the potential to reduce the overall cost of imprinting and also minimizes the chip failure rates. So, before moving further, let’s understand the working principle of Nano-imprint lithography in detail :
- Step 1: The nanostructured polymer or silicon mold is pressed with controlled pressure.
- Step 2: While pressing the mold, the temperature is also controlled in accordance with the level of the substrate coating layer on the polymeric material.
- Step 3: Once the above two steps are done, the mold is removed and characters are imprinted on the substrate in an inverse manner.
Applications of Nanoimprint: Nano-imprinting is one of the most advanced, unique and powerful equipment in the world, which is entirely based on innovative technology. This technology provides a cost-effective pathway for numerous disciplines including medical science, photography, engineering and many more.
Here’s how it is becoming the future technology for such industries:
- Used for fabrication of photovoltaic layer in solar cells, polarization controls, high-density magnetic recording, and assembling media for hard-disk drives.
- Used in biological applications like sensors, Nano-fluidic devices for the purpose of DNA stretching, and tissue engineering.
- Helps in the advancement of ICs while manufacturing nanostructures.
- Also used in compact sensors to detect or trace the amount of chemicals, such as pesticides and bacteria.
Current Trends in Nanoimprinting: Apart from some known applications, Nanoimprinting is also finding its way in other disciplines. Recently new polymer resist has appeared on the market and has been used for Nano imprinting technology followed by a UV-based polymer resist, which can now be manufactured three times faster than the traditional hot embossing technique.
In this way, this technology is helping out different fields towards productive expansion.