, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 76-80

Gas pressurized hot embossing for transcription of micro-features

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Hot embossing has proven productive for the parallel replication of precision micro-features onto thermoplastic substrates at low cost. During conventional hot embossing, the substrate and the stamp are brought into contact and are compressed directly by the hot plates of the machine. The accuracy and area of replication are limited due to the inherent non-uniform pressure distribution. Si-wafers are too brittle to be used as embossing tools with the conventional hot embossing operation. This paper describes an innovative pressurizing method for hot embossing using gas as pressure media. The film/stamper/substrate stack is placed in a closed chamber. After heating, the gas is blown in at high pressure to pressurize the stack. Micro patterns in the stamp can be successfully replicated onto the substrate. Perfectly uniform embossing pressure throughout the whole area can be achieved. Glass or wafers with micro-features on their surfaces can be used as stampers directly.

The authors would like to thank National Taiwan University for help with lab set-up, Professor Ping-Hei Chen and Mr. Jian Ying Tsai for providing the embossing stamper, and their coworkers at Grace Laboratory for stimulating discussions and experimental assistance.