Traditionally nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is derived from a quartz or glass wafer plate-against-plate process technology. The Roll-to-Roll (R2R) process is the most popular method for volume fabrication on a variety of flexible materials such as metal, paper, and a range of polymers, which includes thin glass.
At Stensborg, we have developed our own unique and patented nip molding process (HoloPrint®) developed for nanoimprinting on transparent as well as opaque materials. This approach works to avoid costly and undesirable web coating.
The Roll-to-Roll machine, typically employing several rollers, has various coating techniques such as dip coating, knife-over-edge coating, slot-die coating, direct- and micro-gravure coating, and spray coating.
Advantages of Roll-to-Roll NIL
In-line partial register nanoimprinting.
High savings due to a partial layout of an active nanoimprint area.
Reduced manufacturing process due to a high yield.
Agile technology; sustaining pressure uniformity and successful demolding in large-size imprinting areas.
Positive environmental impact due to the speed of production and less energy consumption.
If you're interested in exploring how to implement HoloPrint® nanoimprint nip molding technology into your production line, contact the Stensborg team.
How you can benefit from introducing HoloPrint®
HoloPrint® technology can be used as a secure in-house manufacturing process for anticounterfeiting Optical Verification Devices., for added security, all value building takes place in-house.
We can imprint on many base materials. The process is tested to work on both transparent and opaque substrates, e.g. metal foils, pre-printed paper, and various polymer base materials.
For trial and demo runs you can be up and running as fast as you can define and produce a nanoimprint template and define the resin application. Building small batches of new design concepts can also be done very efficiently.
Reducing cost and CO2 emissions
Because the HoloPrint® process leaves no waste, and works with a highly focused and optimized “cold” light curing source you will not only be able to produce more nanoimprints, but your nanostructure production will also have less impact on the environment due to much less energy consumption compared with traditional nanoimprint volume productions.
Roll-to-Roll vs. Roll-to-Plate
The Roll-to-Roll process is fast and scalable. Roll-to-Roll machines routinely produce nanoimprints at speeds up to 50 meters per minute. Due to this scalability, R2R NIL is also cost-effective. The challenges can be a higher initial setup and complexities when running multiple processes.
The Roll-to-Plate process is slower than R2R and is best placed for the production of non-flexible substrates, e.g. glass and quartz. It is a preferred method for prototyping optical masters, e.g. the uniA6 nanoimprinter, as it allows the making of small quantities and thus lowers the time consumption and minimizes waste.