Molecular Imprints, Inc., the market and technology leader for nanopatterning systems and solutions, today introduced the Perfecta(TM) TR1100 template replication system for patterned media applications. Leveraging the company's Jet and Flash(TM) Imprint Lithography (J-FIL(TM)) technology, the Perfecta TR1100 enables the mass-replication of master imprint templates with extremely high fidelity at a cost that is orders of magnitude lower than that of fabricating the original master template. Combined with Molecular Imprints' family of nanopatterning systems, the Perfecta template replication platform will provide a critical component in the manufacturing infrastructure necessary to produce the next generation of high-density hard disk drives (HDDs). Molecular Imprints has already sold two Perfecta TR1100 systems, including one that has been formally accepted and installed by merchant mask and HDD disk manufacturer, Hoya Corporation, which will facilitate the commercial availability of imprint templates for advanced patterned media development and pilot production.
"The transition to patterned media represents a fundamental shift in the hard disk drive industry, introducing new processes and requiring new equipment innovations in the disk media production fabs. With all of those changes taking place in the fabs, the last thing that HDD manufacturers should have to worry about is dealing with the complexity and costs associated with manufacturing templates as well," stated Tsuyoshi Watanabe, general manager, R&D Center of Hoya. "Combining Molecular Imprints' new Perfecta TR1100 template replication system with our own semiconductor mask and HDD disk expertise and support capabilities allows us to provide HDD and patterned media manufacturers with the high-quality, high-resolution templates they need to profitably produce the next generation of disk media."
Paul Hofemann, vice president of HDD and emerging markets business development at Molecular Imprints, added, "J-FIL is well on its way to becoming the standard patterning technology for the HDD industry in terms of both patterned media production and now template replication. These orders for our Perfecta TR1100 system come on top of 10 orders for our J-FIL nanopatterning systems for the HDD industry, including the current-generation Imprio HD2200 used in patterned media development. Furthermore, with Hoya now leveraging the Perfecta TR1100, HDD companies have the option of purchasing their high-fidelity templates straight from one of the world's leading commercial mask companies."
The HDD industry is currently adopting J-FIL as it transitions to advanced patterned media technologies. To maintain the historical 40-percent annual growth in HDD areal density to one terabit per square inch and beyond in the coming years will require patterned media with critical dimensions under 20nm, at less than one tenth the cost of current semiconductor patterning. In addition to needing nanopatterning systems that support the resolution and cost requirements of the HDD industry, manufacturers must have a ready supply of affordable imprint templates to transfer the nanometer-scale patterns onto the disk substrates. However, producing master templates using traditional e-beam technology in the volume needed to support patterned media production is cost-prohibitive. A new approach to template fabrication is required that can deliver the resolution of e-beam technologies at a much lower cost--the very characteristics of Molecular Imprints' J-FIL technology.
Once a master template is initially created using traditional e-beam technologies, Molecular Imprints' Perfecta template systems can replicate it thousands of times with extremely high pattern fidelity. Each of the subsequent template replicas or "daughter" templates that are produced can then be employed to produce thousands of disks. Currently, Molecular Imprints' Perfecta TR1100 system represents the only viable way to support patterned media development by replicating high-fidelity imprints at low costs.