This paper presents a new micro/nano-fabrication method which can directly transfer a patterned metallic film from a silicon mold to a flexible polymer substrate. The basic idea is to coat a metallic thin layer on a silicon mold which has pre-defined surface features in micro- or nano-scale. Prior to the metallic film deposition, an anti-adhesion layer is first applied to the mold's surface so that the subsequently deposited metallic layer is only weakly attached to the mold. The silicon mold is then pressed by a roller against a polymer substrate while an infrared light source, such as an infrared lamp, is used to heat up the mold/substrate assembly. Energy of the infrared heating source is absorbed by the metal layer and subsequently heats up the polymer material in contact with the metal film through heat conduction. The temperature rising and the contact pressure at the metal/polymer interface create a stronger bonding interface which finally transfers the metallic patterns defined by the mold's surface features to the polymer substrate. Experiments have been carried out to demonstrate the feasibility and capabilities of the proposed method. Metallic structures with a smallest feature size of 60 nm and an imprinted area of 4 × 4 cm2 have been successfully patterned into PET films.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering