Tuesday, July 25, 2006

US Patent 7080596 - Silicon Carbide Nanoimprint Stamp


As mentioned in earlier posts, printing technologies are currently being used to replace optical lithography in nanofabrication. Some of these printing based techniques employ nanoimprint lithography stamps and are used for stamping and embossing functions that mirror many of the oldest printing technologies. However, the problem with using manoimprint stamps is that they can be fragile and are not suitable for extended and repeated use. This patent from HP proposes a more durable structure for nanoimprint stamps. Claim 1 reads:

1. A micro-casted silicon carbide nano-imprinting stamp, comprising: a handling substrate; a glue layer connected with the handling substrate, wherein the glue layer comprises a material selected from the group consisting of tungsten, titanium, titanium nitride, cobalt, platinum, gold, a gold-tin alloy, silver, and a silicide; a foundation layer connected with the glue layer and including a base surface; and a plurality of nano-sized features connected with the foundation layer and extending outward of the base surface, the nano-sized features including an outer surface defining an imprint profile, the foundation layer and the nano-sized features are a micro-casted unitary whole and are made entirely from a material comprising silicon carbide, and wherein a hardness of the silicon carbide is operative to maintain the imprint profile of the nano-sized features over repeated engagements of the nano-imprinting stamp with a media to be imprinted.