Hybrid polymer sol-gel material for UV-nanoimprint: Microstructure and thermal densification
Hybrid polymer solutions suitable for UV-nanoimprint were synthesized by combination of an alkoxysilane binder mixture with silica nanoparticles. Hydrolysis and condensation reactions were monitored by NMR and viscosity measurements. Thereby long-term stable systems were produced as a prerequisite for industrial application. Dip-coating of glass substrates and subsequent UV-curing yielded thin films. Their thermal densification and microstructural evolution resulted in pure glassy porous coatings, which were in detail characterized by N2-sorption measurements and ellipsometric porosimetry. Results emphasize the importance of the binder-particle interaction within these materials that are destined for the fabrication of microstructured surfaces by cost efficient and industrially feasible UV-based soft lithography. Structured glassy layers with high inorganic content show thermal stability up to >500 C and have a high structure accuracy >85 %.