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Langmuir. 2005 Feb 15;21(4):1158-61.

Vapor-phase self-assembled monolayer for improved mold release in nanoimprint lithography.


Resist adhesion to the mold is one of the challenges for nanoimprint lithography. The main approach to overcoming it is to apply a self-assembled monolayer of an organosilane release agent to the mold surface, either in the solution phase or vapor phase. We compared the atomic force microscopy, ellipsometry, reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy, and contact angle results collected from substrates treated by two different application processes and found that the vapor-phase process was superior. The vapor-treated substrates had fewer aggregates of the silane molecules on the surface, because the lower density of the agent in the vapor phase was not conducive to aggregation formation, and received a superior coating of the releasing agent, because the vapor was more effective than the solution in penetrating into the nanoscale gaps of the mold. A pattern transfer of 20 parallel nanowires with a line width of 40 nm at 100 nm pitch-size was performed faithfully with the vapor-treated mold without any resist adhesion.


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