Improved pattern transfer in nanoimprint lithography at 30 nm half-pitch by substrate-surface functionalization.
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Resist detachment from the substrate during mold-substrate separation is one of the key challenges for nanoimprint lithography as the pitch of features decreases. We analyzed the problem by considering the surface and interfacial free energies of the initial state and the possible final states of the mold-polymer-substrate system and designed the chemistry of the system to provide the desired final state. We dramatically improved the resist adhesion to the substrate by assembling a monolayer of surface linker molecules on the substrate surface. A 37 nanowire pattern at 30 nm half-pitch was imprinted onto the surface-modified substrate.