Optimizing UV Nanoimprinting to be Defect Free

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Description

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A group of researchers lately revealed a paper within the journal ACS Utilized Nano Supplies that demonstrated the effectiveness of laptop simulations in creating defect-free micro- and nanostructured patterns on surfaces via ultraviolet (UV) nanoimprinting.

Optimizing UV Nanoimprinting to be Defect Free

Examine: Finite Ingredient Simulations of Filling and Demolding in Roll-to-Roll UV Nanoimprinting of Micro- and Nanopatterns. Picture Credit score: Eugenock/Shutterstock.com

Background

Surfaces that includes micro- or nanopatterns are sometimes thought-about for a number of technological functions owing to their highly effective and versatile properties.

Roll-to-roll (R2R) UV nanoimprinting, a nanoimprinting method primarily based on UV nanoimprint lithography, can fabricate such patterns over massive areas at a low value and excessive throughput. Thus, R2R UV nanoimprinting method is usually most well-liked to fabricate surfaces with micro-and nanostructured patterns on a mass scale.

These patterns are achieved by initially urgent a rotating cylindrical template with the proposed floor sample right into a liquid imprint resin, after which solidifying the resin utilizing UV light-induced polymerization.

Lastly, the resin is demolded from the cylindrical template. The sizes of the patterns fabricated by this methodology typically vary from tens of micrometers to sub-100 nanometers. The throughputs achieved in the course of the fabrication are within the order of m2/min.

Batch UV nanoimprinting, one other variant of this course of, can be employed to acquire nanopatterned surfaces. Batch UV nanoimprinting entails imprinting a sample on a static floor by a step-and-repeat (S&R) mode.

Each UV imprinting strategies can be utilized to effectively fabricate a number of micro-and nanostructures in numerous functions associated to microfluidics, optics, biomimetics, and electronics.

Defects within the fabricated buildings are one of many main points related to this method, particularly when numerous imprints are executed in a steady course of.

Defects primarily occur when air will get entrapped within the nanofabricated buildings throughout filling, and the buildings subsequently fracture throughout demolding.

Stopping such defects may be time- and cost-intensive as it’s primarily executed by the trial-and-error methodology. Pc simulations can probably help in optimizing the defect prevention course of by simulating particular circumstances upfront to establish potential points and supply a quantitative and deeper understanding of the defect era mechanism.

Simulations of two essential levels, demolding and filling, in UV nanoimprinting which might be liable to defects, are required to stop defects.

The target of this research was to acquire a greater theoretical understanding of the defect era mechanism and predict defects for sure course of and materials parameters.

The Examine

On this research, researchers developed three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) laptop simulations of demolding and filling levels in UV nanoimprinting utilizing COMSOL Multiphysics, a industrial finite ingredient software program, and validated the simulations by corresponding S&R and R2R experiments.

The imprint resin was ready by mixing hexanediol diacrylate and Ebecryl 8402 within the ratio of 1:1. The viscosity of the imprint resin was 135 and 35 mPa-s at room temperature and 50oC temperature, respectively.

Guide UV nanoimprinting was carried out by initially depositing a small drop of resin on the nickel template, after which fastidiously bringing the substrate foil poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) in touch with the resin drop. Subsequently, the foil was slowly launched to unfold the resin on the template.

A custom-built 365 nm UV light-emitting diode (LED) lamp was employed for 20 s to remedy the resin at 100 mW/cm2 depth. Ultimately, the resin was manually demolded by detaching the imprint from the nickel template.

A custom-built R2R machine was used to carry out R2R UV nanoimprinting.

A PET foil was utilized as substrate and the resin was coated on the substrate by slot-die coating. A patterned nickel shim was used as a template. A 395 nm UV LED was employed to remedy the resin at 14 W/cm2 depth.

The elastic modulus, measurement, fillet radius, and sidewall angle of the patterns had been evaluated to know the demolding course of. Moreover, demolding by S&R and R2R nanoimprinting strategies had been in contrast when it comes to the radius of rotation.

Observations

Micro- and nanostructured patterns had been efficiently fabricated utilizing the handbook and R2R UV nanoimprinting methods. An ample resin thickness; low-aspect-ratio options; excessive substrate contact angles; low template contact angles; low resin velocity and viscosity; and low inclined sidewalls within the resin supported the filling course of. Detrimental values of any of those elements had been compensated by optimizing the opposite elements.

The filling of nanoscale patterns was significantly simpler in comparison with the filling of microscale patterns owing to the improved dissolution of fuel. The dimensions of the fabricated patterns performed no important function in air entrapment in the course of the filling course of.

For demolding, a big radius of rotation, rounded corners, inclined sidewalls, and small patterns was discovered to be advantageous.

Throughout demolding, the dominant impact for microstructures was friction, whereas, for nanostructures, it was adhesion. Probably the most susceptible positions of a sample geometry had been recognized efficiently by a 3D demolding simulation.

To summarize, the findings of this research demonstrated the affect of various parameters on demolding and filling throughout UV nanoimprinting, each experimentally and by laptop simulations, which might help in optimizing the method parameters and supplies related to the UV nanoimprinting course of to design a UV nanoimprinting method that’s defect-free in observe.    

Reference 

Palfinger, U., Nees, D., Kuna, L. et al. (2022) Finite Ingredient Simulations of Filling and Demolding in Roll-to-Roll UV Nanoimprinting of Micro- and Nanopatterns. ACS Utilized Nano Supplies https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsanm.1c04059


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