Making the jump from the laboratory to the manufacturing floor.
MISSION: To partner companies in developing solutions using nanoimprint technology, by focusing on development, translational and manufacturing solutions.
Nanoimprinting is a surface patterning technique that offers resolutions anywhere from several hundred microns down to about 5 nm. There are 2 types of processes associated with imprinting: a thermal imprint and also a UV imprint. Thermal imprinting utilizes an elevated temperature and pressure to drive the polymer resist from a spin-coated film into the cavities of a hard mould. Whereas UV imprinting utilises resist materials that are cured by UV exposure through a transparent mould. Potential applications include use in biomedical, ing semiconductors, micro- and nano-electro-mechanical devices, displays, packaging and consumer care fields.
R&D activities in nanoimprint started about 13 years ago at A*STAR. Early work was focused on capability build-up. This culminated into a flagship program with Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) 2008 to 2010. The potential for an industry based on nanoimprint technology was deemed as high. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) was subsequently awarded Public Private Partnership funding to launch Industrial Consortium on Nanoimprint (ICON). ICON’s objective was to build the value chain in nanoimprint and to help propagate this technology to industries. While very successful in its objective, there were a few further adoption gaps that there not addressed by ICON; namely the requirements of functionalities with real world applications and the lack of a demonstration for manufacturability.
Thus A*STAR is launching an R&D foundry to hasten the industrialisation of this technology. The foundry is a co-development between the Science and Engineering Research council (SERC), Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and also Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) with the participation of sister research institutes such as Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) to enable the evolution of nanoimprint technology from the laboratory to the manufacturing floor. The nanoimprint foundry will address end-to-end design with increasing complexity towards real-life applications and the foundry is equipped with infrastructure to demonstrate large area and high through-put imprinting.
INTEGRATION FOR OPTIMISATION
A foundry dedicated to advancing the applications and industrial adoption of nanoimprint technology and partnering companies in developing solutions using nanoimprint technology by focusing on: