The Nanoimprinting facilitates the fabrication of nanostructures on the surface of bulk material, imparting unique functional properties onto otherwise ordinary material surfaces. The functionalities that we have achieved are classified into 4 categories base on interaction of various agents (i.e. Light, Fluid, Biologics and Others) with the nanostructures. Our approach is very different from the conventional way of imparting functional properties by chemical coating; making this a more sustainable and environmental friendly solution.
Various Modes of Nanoimprinting
Nanoimprinting is achieved via embossing of an imprint resist using a mold containing the desired pattern. The imprint resist is typically a polymer that can be cured via Ultra-Violet (UV) ray or heated (thermal imprinting) to glass transition temperature (Tg) for filing.
Continuous nanoimprint technology is the natural, evolutionary solution to size and throughput limitations:
1. Two major classes of continuous nanoimprinting: UV and Thermal (available @ IMRE)
2. Two substrate handling classes: Roll-to-Roll and Roll-to-Flat (available @ IMRE)
3. UV process produces a textured coating. Thermal process embosses the substrate directly
Injection molding is widely used to form 3D plastic compnents rapidly and precisely. The Nanoimprint Foundry has recently developed nano-injection molding with a local SME. The approach taken here combines standard commercial injection molding with nanoimprinting to make nanostructures on free-form objects. We are now able to translate all those interesting functionalities we have developed onto 3D objects!