The Limitations of 90 Degree Angles on Nanoimprint Design

Design is at the heart of everything that humans interact and engage with. Whether it is the smartphones they use, their clothing, or the cars they drive, they have all been designed carefully to enhance their functionality and maximize user experience.

While the end-user design is vital, how you will be creating the products must also be considered. One of the most critical considerations for nanoimprint lithography (NIL) in the design is the angles utilized.

How 90-degrees can kill your design.

How 90-degrees can kill your design. Image Credit: Stensborg 

The Importance of the Right Angles

It is difficult to nanoimprint using a perfect 90-degree angle as the release angle is zero. If a master template incorporates even 1 or 2-degree release angles, it will make a huge difference in avoiding a highly challenging situation separating the parts without damaging the imprint and/or the template master.

If you are seeking roll-based nanoimprint lithography, this is also a key consideration. This production choice is a swift and efficient manufacturing process, and quick-release of the imprinted parts is vital to a smooth run.

The diagrams below demonstrate the principle of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ angles in the nanoimprint design and manufacturing process:

Diagram 1: Due to its positioning locked within the template, negative angles make the release of the imprint impossible.

Negative Angle.

Negative Angle. Image Credit: Stensborg 

Diagram 2: 90-degree angles make the release extremely challenging and may cause damage to the imprint or the template master on release.

90-degree angle.

90-degree angle. Image Credit: Stensborg 

Diagram 3: the release is possible, and there is no risk of damage to the imprint or the template master by using positive angles below 90 degrees.

Positive angle.

Positive angle. Image Credit: Stensborg 

The sample below demonstrates suitable angles created by utilizing the uni A6 Holoprint Desktop unit, Stensborgs innovative solution to nanoimprint lithography.

Holoprint Desktop angles.

Holoprint Desktop angles. Dimensions of the above structure = Coating thickness estimated: 17 micrometres | Structure height: 5 micrometres | Structure width: 1.5 micrometres | Gap between structures: 1.25 micrometres. Image Credit: Stensborg

Production can be transformed, and costs can be significantly reduced by utilizing a design that is just a few degrees less than 90-degrees. One famous example of this is the vast amounts of time and effort Steve Jobs and his team put into perfecting the NeXT Computer manufacturing.

The company wasted large sums in design and manufacturing when just a minor alteration to the angles could have saved considerable amounts when they were dedicated to creating a computer that was a mathematically perfect cube.

Looking for Nanoimprinting Lithography Solutions?

Stensborg has been supplying expert nanoimprint lithography solutions for more than twenty years. Using their years of experience and the very latest equipment, they pride themselves on providing the very best optical design and volume production for their clients.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Stensborg.

For more information on this source, please visit Stensborg.


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