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Open AccessArticle

Extrusion Roller Imprinting with a Variotherm Belt Mold

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Machines 2014, 2(4), 299-311;
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 13 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)
Although many precision fabrication techniques have demonstrated the ability to produce microstructures and micro-devices with sub 100 nm accuracy, we are yet to see a scalable manufacturing process for large-area production. One promising solution to scalable micro- and nanofabrication is thermal roller imprinting. However, existing investigations on thermal roller imprinting revealed poor pattern transfer fidelity, especially for high aspect ratio features. The standard roller imprinting process suffers from the lack of an effective holding and cooling stage so that the adverse effects from the viscoelastic nature of polymers are not managed. To rectify this problem and further improve the production rate, a new extrusion roller imprinting process with a variotherm belt mold is designed, and its prototype was established at a laboratory scale. The process testing results demonstrate that a 30 μm sawtooth pattern can be faithfully transferred to extruded polyethylene film at take-up speeds higher than 10 m/min. The results are promising in that microfeatures or even nanofeatures may be successfully replicated by a robust and scalable industrial process suitable for large-area, continuous production. View Full-Text
Keywords: hot embossing; roller imprinting; nanoimprinting; microfabrication; nanofabrication hot embossing; roller imprinting; nanoimprinting; microfabrication; nanofabrication
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Frenkel, R.; Kim, B.; Yao, D. Extrusion Roller Imprinting with a Variotherm Belt Mold. Machines 2014, 2, 299-311.

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