Project conclusion

The NILdirect_stamp project was a collaborative research project in the NILaustria research project cluster of the Austrian Nanoinitiative. The consortium consisted of the Austrian Institute of Technology, EV Group, the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, IMS Nanofabrication AG and the Vienna University of Technology under the coordination of Profactor GmbH and worked on establishing a massively parallel beam, direct write technology for the fabrication of master stamps for Nanoimprint Lithography, based on the CHARPAN (Charges Particle Nanopatterning) tool of IMS Nanofabrication. This main goal addresses an important issue in Nanoimprint Lithography - namely the availability of high quality, high resolution stamps at a reasonable price - and was successfully achieved and constitutes an important contribution to the area of Nanoimprint Lithography in general.


In detail the NILdirect_stamp project has achieved several important milestones and has significantly contributed to the state of the art in many fields. The most important ones are listed in the following:


  • 12.5nm half pitch structures for master stamps for imprint lithography were directly written on HSQ on silicon using the CHARPAN tool. Master stamps were written using 570-thousand beams in parallel. 
  • Without any postprocessing (except an obligatory anti-sticking treatment) these masters were successfully used for working stamp fabrication, retaining the high resolution of the master stamps, providing evidence for one of the key advantages of Nanoimprint Lithography i.e. ultra-high resolution nanopatterning capability. 
  • Single beam experiments gave great insight into the processes that are going on while direct-writing with charged particle beams, thus providing important input for the multi-beam writing processes. 
  • Related simulations allowed a deeper understanding of the processes going on during the charged particle processes. Outstanding agreement between simulations and experiments was achieved. 
  • Complex stamps with multilevel and 2.5dimensional features were designed and fabricated and also successfully used for working stamp fabrication and nanoimprint processes, highlighting a second the key advantage of Nanoimprint Lithography, i.e. the capability to easily and rapidly replicate also complex structures. 
  • Finally novel hardmask materials showing high etching selectivities for ultra-thin layers were investigated and highly interesting results were achieved. 


All in all and up to now 38 contributions to 26 conferences were provided, and 13 publications in peer-reviewed journals were published, resulting in high impact in the scientific community as well as in industry on an international level.