Interference and nanoimprint lithography for the patterning of large areas
Micro- and nanostructures can be used for reflectance reduction or light guidance in applications like photovoltaic solar cells, LEDs or display technology. The combination of interference lithography and nanoimprint lithography enables the fabrication and replication of high resolution structures on large areas. The origination of master structures, seamlessly patterned on areas as large as 1.2 × 1.2 m2 was shown using interference lithography. Within this work we demonstrate our current results on the up-scaling of the replication process chain based on nanoimprint lithography with in-line capable tools. Application examples in the fields of photovoltaics are demonstrated, e.g. the micron-scale patterning of multicrystalline silicon substrates to increase the solar cell efficiency. Furthermore, the lifetime of soft PDMS stamps is investigated. AFM force-distance measurements are introduced as suitable method to quantify the PDMS hardness as a parameter indicating stamp degradation. This technique is subsequently applied to evaluate two different resist materials. Applying the epoxy material (SU-8) with its more complex molecular structure results in a strongly increased stamp lifetime compared to the acrylate resist (Laromer LR 8996). This is a highly valuable result for further developments towards an up-scaled realization of nanoimprint lithography.