EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, today introduced the EVG®570R2R—the industry's first roll-to-roll thermal nanoimprint lithography (NIL) tool.
Jointly developed with the Industrial Consortium on Nanoimprint (ICON), helmed by A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), the EVG570R2R utilizes hot embossing to mass-produce films and surfaces with micro- and nanometer-scale structures for a variety of medical, consumer and industrial applications, including micro-fluidics, plastic electronics and photovoltaics. The first system has been installed in IMRE's Singapore facility, where it will be used by IMRE to conduct industrial research on the potential uses for large-scale nanoimprint patterning, as well as by EV Group for product demonstrations with prospective customers.
Roll-to-roll nanoimprint technology is an attractive approach to manufacturing micro- and nano-scale patterns due to its low cost, continuous high throughput and large-area patterning capabilities. Hot embossing, which is one method of implementing roll-to-roll patterning, is particularly well suited for devices used in biological and medical applications due to its low cost, high throughput, material flexibility and monolithic approach. By partnering with IMRE, EVG has been able to leverage IMRE's core competencies in materials science with its own expertise in temperature embossing and pressure uniformity to develop the EVG570R2R, whose innovative imprint module design provides excellent temperature and pressure uniformity for micro- and nanoscale patterning on a broad range of materials.
"While roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography holds much promise in enabling a variety of new applications, previous efforts to develop the technology lacked a holistic approach," stated Professor Andy Hor Tzi Sum, executive director of IMRE. "As part of this new ICON project, IMRE is bringing together technology innovators from across the ecosystem to help drive this technology toward commercialization. Companies like EV Group have been instrumental in building the foundational tools and solutions needed to make roll-to-roll nanoimprint a viable manufacturing process."
The EVG570R2R is the latest addition to EV Group's extensive suite of nanoimprint products, which also include the EVG®770 automated NIL stepper, the EVG®750 automated hot embossing system, the IQ Aligner® automated UV-NIL and u-CP systems, the EVG®510HE and EVG®520HE semi-automated hot embossing systems, and the EVG®620 and EVG®6200 automated UV-NIL systems.