FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Nano manufacturing

What is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology works with materials, devices, and other structures with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres.
What is nanomanufacturing?
Nanomanufacturing is the controllable manipulation of materials structures, components, devices, and systems at the nano-scale (1 to 100 nanometers) in one, two, and three dimensions for large-scale reproducibility of value-added components and devices. Nanomanufacturing is the essential bridge between the discoveries of the nano sciences and real-world nanotechnology-enabled products.
  • It is the utilization of value-added processes to control matter at the nanoscale in one, two, and three dimensions for reproducible, commercial-scale production
  • It encompasses bottom-up directed assembly, top-down high resolution processing, molecular systems engineering, and hierarchical integration with macro-scale systems.
Links to videos
Euronews hi-tech report on NaPANIL (EU project): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1R9xQoM-yw
Links to interesting information
NAPA libary of porcesses: http://www.napanil.org/uploads/Publications/NaPaLoP_B5.pdf

Nanoimprint Lithography & Roll to Roll Processing

What is Nanoimprint lithography?
Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) and patterning is a technique that has shown significant promise for high-throughput nanopatterning for a range of device applications. NIL’s potential has garnered sufficient attention to place it as a future contender on the semiconductor industry manufacturing roadmap, and as a viable patterning tool for extremely high-rate production platforms such as roll-to-roll processing. NIL can be divides into two categories: thermal and ultraviolet (UV) light assisted. In thermal NIL, a thermoplastic polymer is mechanically deformed by a hard stamp (mould). The imprinting temperature is elevated to approximately 60 oC – 70 oC above the polymers glass transition temperature (Tg) (to ensure a sufficient flow of the polymer into the stamps cavities). The stamp and the substrate are kept into contact for few minutes under high pressure. De-moulding is performed at a temperature approximately 10 oC – 15 oC below the Tg of the polymer. In UV NIL a transparent stamps is used to imprinting into a UV curable polymers or monomer. During UV NIL no high pressured have to be applied while when the polymer/monomer has filled in the stamps cavities UV radiation is applied through the stamp (or substrate) curing the polymer. Subsequently, the stamp and substrate are separated.
What is Roll to roll processing?
Roll-to-roll (R2R) processing is a broadly defined terminology encompassing a range of processes wherein a substrate is transferred between two moving rolls during which the processes are applied to the substrate. As such, the processes have both a time and spatial occurrence, thereby requiring specific customization to achieve the desired process outcomes.
What is Roll to roll nanoimprint lithography?
Roll to Roll (R2R) nanoimprint lithography, involves the patterning of thin flexible materials such as plastics or metal foils. The flexible material, or web, is unwounded from a core, processed, and then returned to a second core at the end of the sequence. Roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography enables continuous patterning of nanostructures on flexible substrates with at least an order of magnitude higher processing speed than that of conventional NIL.
How much will the process cost?
The major cost of nanoimprint lithography comes from the stamp generation. The price will depend on the features size, density and coverage area. Stamps with nanoscale features could be purchased from a price of 1000 euros.
How long does a nanoimprint lithography step take?
The imprint time depends on the nanoimprint mode you are using. UV light assisted imprint lithography takes few seconds, whereas thermal imprint lithography might take up to few minutes.
What is the resolution of a nanoimprint lithography?
Nanoimprint lithography is a one to one process, which means that any features which the stamp has will be replicated on the imprinted polymer material. The state of the art resolution is 2 nm.
How large could the patterned area be?
Typical stamp sizes range from a few mm up to 10’s of cm. The stamp generation is performed by the standard lithography techniques used within the IC industry (electron beam lithography, E/DUV lithography, laser interference lithography, etc.).
What is the difference between thermal and UV NIL?
Thermal NIL uses heat to soften a thermoplastic material in order to decrease its viscosity and allow a sufficient polymer flow into the stamps cavities. Large forces are necessary to alter this flow. UV NIL uses UV light to cure a monomer which could be either spin coated or drop casted on our wafer. Due to is low viscosity, capillary forces enable the resist to flow inside the stamps cavities allowing shorter imprint times.

Security Holograms

What is the principle purpose of security holograms?
The purpose of a security hologram is to provide a versatile and effective way to protect and authenticate products against counterfeight.
What are the biggest impacts of counterfeits on brands?
  • Loss of Sales
  • A reputation under attack
  • Authentic companies left to deal with the fallout from counterfeiters
  • Compromising long-term trust between businesses
  • Loss of time and money fighting counterfeiters
Which are the product related factors that increase the risk of product counterfeighting?
  • High volume products
  • Low-cost products
  • Products in high demand
  • Products with large market share
  • Luxury products
  • Products that lack security features
  • Products produced through lengthy supply & distribution chains
  • Components & materials offered at artificially low prices
  • Products sold on the internet
How are security holograms effective?
Holograms are considered as one of the most useful and effective safety technology which would compile all three levels of safety technologies (overt, covert and forensic). Especially, it is an efficient countermeasure for forgery of printed materials using high-tech techniques. Scanners, photo copiers, and graphic tool can easily forge any complicated printing techniques, but cannot illustrate the inherent characteristics of holograms, i.e. deep cubic effects and distinctive color shifts.
How expensive are security holograms?
Holograms labels or hot stamping foils cost a fracture of a € cent up to few € cents. Moreover, there is always a one-off cost associated with the customized mastering origination (hundreds of €). Furthermore, final cost is associated with the size of the hologram and the total volume/quantity.
What are the main type of security holograms?
Holograms can be divided into adhesive label (Sticker) and Hot-Stamping Foil (HSF) types. Adhesion stickers can be cut in and shape and size. Stickers can be supplied in rolls or in sheets form. Stickers could have a customized tamper evident effect, so when one tries to take off the label it will fracture the image and leave a customized tamper evidence. Hot-Stamping Foil is supplied in rolls while the adherent applied will change depending on the targeted application substrate (Credit card, stocks and bonds, etc.).
How long does it take to manufacture a security hologram (label or HSF)?
From the reception of the request it will take us 2-3 days to propose the artwork design together with the surety features. After the receipt of the confirmed artwork it will take 6-8 weeks to deliver the final hologram products.