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Posted: Oct 03, 2011
Profactor Group to coordinate Nanoimprint Lithography Austria project
(Nanowerk News) The PROFACTOR Group, the number 1 in applied production research in Austria, has received approval to coordinate the NILaustria project cluster for a further three years. This approval came recently from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG (Forschungsfördergesellschaft Österreich).
The focus of the project cluster is on continuing the development of Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) in the scope of eight tangible research projects. PROFACTOR, as the coordinator, will guide the combined forces of all research institutes in the country involved in NIL research and a number of enterprises interested in Nanoimprint Lithography applications.
The Johannes Kepler University Linz, PROFACTOR, JOANNEUM Research and OnkoTec handle project management of the cluster's individual projects.
The project volume for the NILaustria Cluster headed by the PROFACTOR Group is some four million Euros. The funds will be provided within the scope of the Austrian nano initiative, which is handled by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Traffic, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). The evaluation by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency was carried out by an international jury of experts.
"We are convinced that the results returned by NILaustria will make Nanoimprint Lithography even more interesting to a large number of industrial applications," says NILaustria Coordinator in Chief Michael Mühlberger. "The eight individual projects are users-oriented. The results are processed to make them available for external companies." Within the framework of a "Business Interest Group" various enterprises interested in the topic will be able to explore non-confidential research results and the progress of the project, and to submit their wishes and suggestions to the consortium.
The PROFACTOR Group is convinced that NILaustria will help consolidate Austria internationally as a technology base for NIL.
NIL has been one of the PROFACTOR Group's "Functional Surfaces and Nanostructures" division's research focuses for many years. The focus of the NILaustria projects is large-surface nano-structuring. The objective here is to seek methods of using Nanoimprint Lithography to transfer different nano-structures to large surfaces in high-quality manner that is efficient in terms of both costs and resources. For all NIL variants, a nanostructured stamp is brought in contact with a substrate, which leads to a pattern transfer. Nanoimprint Lithography offers a number of advantages:
Ultra-high resolution and high throughput at the same time
Ability to replicate 2.5-dimensional structures directly
Faster and more cost-efficient process
Relatively simple and inexpensive machine.
Project partners / Research
AIT, Austria Institute of Technology GmbH … www.ait.ac.at/
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Forschungs und Entwicklungs GmbH … www.fh-ooe.at/
Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Semiconductor and Solid State Physics… www.hlphys.jku.at/
Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Applied Physics … www.iap.tuwien.ac.at/
Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Solid State Electronics … fke.tuwien.ac.at/
Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Photonics … www.photonik.tuwien.ac.at/
JOANNEUM Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH … www.joanneum.at
Austrian Centre for Electron Microscopy and Nanoanalysis … www.felmi-zfe.tugraz.at/
Project partners / Industry
bionic surface technologies OG … www.bionicsurface.com/
E. Bröll GmbH & Co. KG … www.broell.com/
mb technologies Technisches Büro für technische Physik GmbH … www.mb-technologies.com/
Within this project high frequency transistors and photodetector made of graphene will be fabricated using NIL. A NIL process for achieving patterned graphene will be developed and the fabricated device will be characterised showing high cut-off frequencies and therefore the unique properties of graphene. The planned work will be a significant step towards the realization of large area graphene-based electronics using NIL as fabrication technique of choice.
NILmaterials (Project management: PROFACTOR GmbH)
NILmaterials focuses on the development of a new generation of nanoimprint materials. These materials belong to the class of inorganic-organic hybridmaterials based on functionalized silsesquioxanes (SSQ). Novel functionalized SSQ materials will be synthesized, formulated to UV-curing imprint materials and their performance will be shown within the use of ionic stamps for µ/n-contact printing, as well as working stamp material with inherent anti-adhesive properties.
NILquantumdot II (Project management: Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Institut für Halbleiterphysik)
We will utilize the unique capabilities of UV-NIL to structure large substrate areas with features in the nm region in one process step for pushing forward the current understanding of SiGe quantum dot growth and their application in a Si based integrated optics. This future technology will also be implemented based on site-controlled deposition of nano-crystals, where self-alignment techniques will be used to develop a highly efficient process flow.
NILecho II (Project management: JOANNEUM Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH)
NILecho II targets the implementation of nanoimprinting processes in a printed electronics technology for enabling a process transfer for high-speed thin film electronics on industrial fabrication tools. The definition of a proper electrical interface between nanostructured electronics (by NIL) and microstructured environment (by printing) is a decisive issue as well as the implementation of fully printable materials in the NIL process.
NILstream (Project management: JOANNEUM Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH)
NILstream targets reel-to-reel nanoimprint lithography for large-area production of highly resolved structures. The foreseen application is the fabrication of micro- and nanoscopic patterns on self-adhesive foils for drag reduction in wind power stations and prototypes of sporting goods. High demands are made on the properties of the imprintable polymer in terms of stability against environmental impact, UV exposure and mechanical flexibility.
NILplasmonics (Project management: OnkoTec GmbH)
NILplasmonics aims to integrate Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) in a high throughput production process of plasmonic biochips to fully exploit the plasmon-enhanced fluorescence effect for more sensitive detection of protein markers and cell receptors. In order to prepare plasmonic nanostructures on up to 12 array fields (7x7 mm each) of biochips NIL methods that enable the replication of nanometer features on larger areas at low cost and high throughput will be implemented.
NILcim (Project management: PROFACTOR GmbH)
NILcim enables the fabrication of bionic structures in technical high-performance ceramics. By using nanoimprint lithography processes for mold-inlays for ceramic injection molding are targeted by developing working stamp processes and ceramic shaping in the nanoscale. Finaly first ceramic structures will be evaluated under pilot-plant conditions, and analysed in terms of their performance of the bionic structures.
The project NILstamp_replication_phout is determined to push issues addressed in NILaustria_I to a level allowing further exploitation. This project pushes forward the fabrication of working stamps from large 4" masters with (i) complex 2.5D or multilevel features as well as (ii) with sub-30nm features provided by the CHARPAN tool. Driven by the high industrial impact also nanoimprint lithography with ultrathin residual layers and subsequent pattern transfer will be dealt with. These industrial-scale working stamps as well as the pattern transfer processes to be developed are key enablers for the industrialization of Nanoimprint lithography as a competitive high volume production solution for various market segments.