Tuesday, January 22, 2008

US Patent 7320283 - Capillary nanoimprinting method


This patent from the National Research Council of Italy employs capillary patterns within a nanoimprint stamp to facilitate the transfer of nanoscale patterns to a substrate. Claim 1 reads:

1. A printing process for obtaining patterns of nanometer and micrometer dimensions on a substrate, comprising the steps of sequentially: forming a solution or suspension of a volatile liquid and a printing material, applying a layer of the solution or suspension to said substrate, positioning, without applying pressure, of a stamp provided with relief patterns at a distance of 0 nm to 500 μm from the substrate with the relief patterns in contact with the layer of the solution or suspension, evaporating only the volatile liquid from said solution or suspension from between the substrate and the stamp without evaporating the printing material so as to draw the suspension or solution by capillarity to the relief patterns and deposit the printing material on the substrate in accordance with the relief patterns of the stamp, and thereafter separating the stamp from the substrate and leaving the printing material on the substrate.