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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080609

Perfluoropolyether (PFPE) Intermediate Molds for High-Resolution Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography

1
National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology (NEST), Scuola Normale Superiore and Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR, Piazza San Silvestro 12, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto Officina dei Materiali (CNR-IOM), Area Science Park, S.S. 14, km 163.5, 34149 Basovizza (TS), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract

Among soft lithography techniques, Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) is a high-throughput and low-cost process that can be applied to a broad range of thermoplastic materials. By simply applying the appropriate pressure and temperature combination, it is possible to transfer a pattern from a mold surface to the chosen material. Usually, high-resolution and large-area NIL molds are difficult to fabricate and expensive. Furthermore, they are typically made of silicon or other hard materials such as nickel or quartz for preserving their functionality. Nonetheless, after a large number of imprinting cycles, they undergo degradation and become unusable. In this paper, we introduce and characterize an innovative two-step NIL process based on the use of a perfluoropolyether (PFPE) intermediate mold to replicate sub-100 nm features from a silicon mold to the final thermoplastic material. We compare PFPE elastomeric molds with molds made of the standard polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer, which demonstrates better resolution and fidelity of the replica process. By using PFPE intermediate molds, the nanostructured masters are preserved and the throughput of the process is significantly enhanced. View Full-Text
Keywords: PFPE; nanoimprint; hot embossing; nanograting; intermediate mold; perfluoropolyether; soft lithography PFPE; nanoimprint; hot embossing; nanograting; intermediate mold; perfluoropolyether; soft lithography
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Masciullo, C.; Sonato, A.; Romanato, F.; Cecchini, M. Perfluoropolyether (PFPE) Intermediate Molds for High-Resolution Thermal Nanoimprint Lithography. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 609.

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