In direction of Larger Nanopatterning Decision with Molecules that fill Nanogaps Higher

Researchers from Japan uncover molecular properties that assist fill nanometer-sized gaps within the nanopatterning mould for ultraviolet nanoimprint lithography.

Ultraviolet nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) is a technique of creating patterns on the nanoscale with widespread functions in optoelectronics, photonics, and biology as a result of its low price and scalability. Nevertheless, present UV-NIL decision is proscribed under 10 nm, and better resolutions require a greater understanding of the UV-NIL course of.

In a brand new research, researchers from Tokyo College of Science, Japan use simulations to unveil molecular properties important for nice UV-NIL patterning at increased resolutions.

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Simulation of the filling means of resist materials in UV nanoimprint lithography. In a brand new research, researchers from TUS, Japan, use molecular dynamics simulations to grasp the molecular options of resist supplies that makes for higher filling of nanometer-sized trenches within the nanopattern mould utilized in UV nanoimprint lithography. Picture credit score: Affiliate Professor Tadashi Ando from Tokyo College of Science, CC BY by way of MDPI

In trendy science, nanopatterning is an important method for the fabrication of compact gadgets for digital, optical, photonic, and organic functions. On this regard, ultraviolet nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) exhibits a lot promise owing to its low price and scalability.
The know-how relies on creating nanopatterns utilizing UV mild on a light-sensitive materials referred to as “resist” deposited on a substrate. After depositing the resist on the substrate, a mould nanopattern is pressed into the it. The resist fills this mould and is then cured utilizing UV mild, producing the specified nanopattern.

Whereas UV-NIL is a well-explored method, with simulations offering deep insights into the method, it’s nonetheless restricted to resolutions under 10 nm. It is because resolutions under 10 nm require an understanding of fabric options at atomic scales. Sadly, such characteristic can’t be explored with conventional simulations, which assume matter to be steady.
Whereas earlier research have checked out polymer-size results on UV-NIL, behaviors of the short-chain resist molecules in the course of the filling course of stay unclear.

To deal with this concern, a analysis group led by Affiliate Professor Tadashi Ando from Tokyo College of Science (TUS), Japan, carried out molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to elucidate the molecular options that govern the filling course of at nanoscales.

Of their research revealed on July 25, 2022, in Nanomaterials, Dr. Ando and his colleague simulated the method of the filling of 2-nm and 3-nm mould trenches for 4 totally different resists, particularly N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP), 1,6-Hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA), Tri(propylene glycol) diacrylate (TPGDA), Trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA), and a pair of,2-Dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone (DMPA). Of those, HDDA, NVP, TPGDA, and TMPTA have been photopolymers whereas DMPA was a polymerization initiator. Particularly, the crew explored the consequences of compositions and viscosities of those molecules on the UV-NIL filling course of.

“The simulation outcomes confirmed that HDDA, NVP/TPGDA/TMPTA, and TPGDA with viscosities decrease than 10 mPa.s have been in a position to fill the 2-nm and 3-nm trench widths, whereas the extra viscous and bulkier TMPTA couldn’t,” highlights Dr. Ando. Particularly, molecules with viscosity increased than 92 mPa.s couldn’t fill the trenches. Moreover, the researchers in contrast the 2 linear-shaped photopolymers, HDDA and TPGDA. The simulations revealed that TPGDA was comparatively extra versatile, making it extra more likely to endure intramolecular crosslinking throughout UV-curing. Moreover, these simulation outcomes agreed with empirical guidelines derived from experiments.

With these exceptional insights, the researchers are excited in regards to the future prospects of UV-NIL. “The findings of our research may present us helpful info for guiding the long run choice and design of optimized resists for nice nanopatterning at sub-10 nm decision with UV-NIL,” says Dr. Ando, excited.

Supply: Tokyo College of Science

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