The Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is backing nanoimprint lithography as a key technology for bridging the gap between laboratory-based nanotechnologies and market-ready products and devices.
Together with industrial partners and with the support of other government organizations, the agency has launched a nanoimprint foundry based at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE).
Companies participating in the initiative include Toshiba Machines of Japan and also local firms such as precision equipment manufacturer Solves Innovative Technology.
The foundry has capabilities to address both prototype and high-throughput nanoimprinting:
• Roll-to-roll, batch and wafer manufacturing capabilities
• Resolution achieved via roll-to-roll nanoimprinting = 50 nm
• Production speed of more than 30m per minute
One of the first markets to benefit from roll-to-roll nanoimprinted materials is likely to be the display sector. “Nanoimprint is already capable of delivering solutions for displays such as antireflection, light extraction, pixel separators, autostereoscopy, privacy effects and other value added functionalities such as antimicrobial,” Karen Chong, the IMRE scientist who is heading the facility, told TMR+.
Other potential product areas include dry-adhesives, cell scaffolds, and anti-fouling structures – for example, to overcome problems in filtration.
Nanoimprinting is a versatile technique that can be applied to both hard and soft materials thanks to thermal and UV options, and the roll-to-roll approach opens the door to the patterning of large areas.
“We can help companies develop up to 20,000 samples for proof-of-concept and pilot production allowing manufacturers to shorten the product cycle, but without the heavy capital R&D investment”, added Chong.
The launch of the foundry is part of a plan by A*STAR to push translational research and accelerate commercialisation programmes to drive economic growth. This vision includes positioning Singapore as an advanced manufacturing hub, a strategy that will involve working closely with partners to co-create and adopt key technologies.
To get in touch with the team email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Further reading on the web
Roll-to-roll nanoimprinting to change nanolithography landscape (nanotechweb.org)