Feasibility and costs are the decisive factors for selection and development of nanofabrication techniques. AMO is performing serious investigations towards the most suitable low cost replication technology for e-beam defined nanopatterns. The main advantages of the AMO concept of nanoimprint lithography are low imprint force, precise alignment capabilities and a resolution limited only by the template.
Today, several R&D projects on the national and EU level are underway to explore the potential of replacing expensive EUV lithography and the migration to industrial applications in photonics, NEMS and biotechnology.
Below, in a short summary an overview of current research projects is given.
In this national BMBF project new innovative gas sensor concepts should be developed. The key enabling step is the integration of nanostructures in active optical microsystems. AMO is responsible for the fabrication of a nanostructured Si-Master via a NIL-based recombination process, which in turn is used for the manufacturing of a soft polymeric stamp in a cast moulding process. The stamp will be used for structuring of preprocessed 4” Si substrates. A second task of AMO is the structuring of these preprocessed 4” Si wafers in a SCIL process as part of the MOEMS process chain.
This EFRE European Regional Development Fund project coordinated by AMO has been initially devoted entirely to the development of low cost texturing technologies for suppressing the reflection of silicon based solar cells. During the course of this project several new applications came into focus. Most of them are devoted to photo management techniques by advanced nanostructures in silicon. Even the printing of low loss silicon photonic waveguides is now in reach.
The main focus of this international Eurostar project is the development of a tool platform for one-step structuring of substrate sizes up to 920 mm x 730 mm in a plate-to-plate NIL process. A second approach is the development of a process chain for the manufacturing of sufficient NIL stamps in a two-step recombination process. AMO is responsible for the development of a suitable NIL process for the first stage recombination with a structured area of up to 100 mm x 100 mm. The main focus lies on the optimization of the inter-die stitching area and corresponding defects between single dies.