Multilevel Nanoengineering for Imprint Lithography
Thesis DisciplineElectrical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
The current trend in pushing photo lithography to smaller and smaller resolutions is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. Extreme ultra-violet lithography is an alternate method that has the potential to provide feature sizes down to 30 nm, however, it will come at an even greater cost. Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is another lithographic technique which is promising to provide very high resolutions at a relatively low cost. Imprinting works by using a mold with a surface patterned with the required nano structures and pressing it into a substrate coated with a deformable polymer. Due to its direct pattern replication technique, it is very capable of reproducing three-dimensional structures, however limited research has been performed on this to date. In this study, investigations have been performed into developing a reliable process for creating SiN molds with sub-100 nm structures with variable height control. The process relies on a negative tone electron beam resist which can be patterned to various thicknesses by varying the exposure dosage. This allows for the creation of complex multi-layer structures in a single electron beam lithography step. These patterns then have been transferred into the SiN substrate by a single reactive ion etch. From here the mold is ready for use in imprinting. Study has also been performed into imprinting process as well. This includes the development of an imprint press, the manner in which NIL works. Investigations have been performed into the imprinting performance of 3D molds. Thermal expansion issues have been found and addressed, as have adhesion problems. Some other aspects of 3D NIL which have not been addressed in this study have been outlined in future work for further investigation.