This overview of Imprinting  is designed to summarize the key elements of imprint processing as a device
fabrication technology. Devices can be anything from a simple diffraction grating to a complex microprocessor.
The key elements are;

Imprinting describes a number of  moulding techniques for creating patterns on substrates, one is shown on
the right. For an explanation of the other different imprint processes and the challenges of dealing with product
wafers go to
Imprint Essentials

Multiple types of imprinted features are illustrated on  the right and can be;

  • part of the device - a functional application such as micro-lenses
  • used to pattern an underlying device and then stripped - a resist application  such as CMOS circuit fab.
  • a single molecular layer- a transfer printing application such as making a bio "lab on a chip"

A wide range of structures have been imprinted from  2 nm nano-features, 3 D bridge structures, micro
lenses and microfluidic devices.
For some examples of imprinted features go to Patterns

Imprint has been used as low cost  mass production process for credit card holograms since 1982. More on
History of imprint.

Imprint is just one small step in device fabrication. Device fabrication is a method that converts a starting state
(blank substrate) to a finishing state (device).  For more on  
Device Fabrication.

Key requirements for any patterning application are;
  • throughput
  • overlay
  • defect density and process life
  • resolution and linewidth control
  • pattern complexity in 3 dimensions
  • whole wafer coverage
  • cost of ownership
  • substrate start and finishing states

For more on

The Imprint Process must be designed to meet the requirements of the specific application for example;

  • Integrated circuits require sub 50 nm overlay and defect densities of less than 5 per wafer -  demands
    step and repeat (S&R) patterning  at room temperature with the lowest possible viscosity materials. For
    more go to.

  • Patterning the surface of a film with no overlay requirement - demands thermal imprinting without any
    additional  imprint material.

For more go to
Process Design

The applications that are best suited to imprint today are

  • high resolution patterning that  needs lower cost fabrication than electron beam direct write, and  does
    NOT require feature to feature alignment.

  • complex 3 dimensional structures in functional materials.

  • process research for fine align applications.

For more go to


Learn about the individual steps in the Imprint Cell Process

Or use the tool bars to pick a topic

There are a number of comprehensive review articles including; Kan 2003, Guo 2004, Gates 2005, Quist 2005.

Copyright © 2005 Impattern Solutions. All rights reserved.
Imprint Overview