UV replication is a proven high-volume manufacturing method for nanostructured components. It is the most used method in the production of next generation optical components from NIL Technology’s advanced optical masters. This fabrication method is also called Wafer Level Optics.
UV replication in more details
UV replication is part of the nanoimprint family of replication methods. It requires a master mold, a transparent substrate, and a UV curable resin.
- The UV curable resin is dispensed on either the master or the substrate
- Master and substrate are put in contact
- The resin flows to fill the master cavities
- UV light is applied to cure the resin.
Curing hardens the resin, so it changes from a fluid to a solid state. After curing, the wafer is diced into individual devices ready for assembly.
UV replication exists in several different forms. The drop-dispensing method is the simplest way to perform UV replication. One simply applies a drop of resin on the master, puts the substrate on top, and waits until capillary forces make the resin fill the entire gap between the master and the substrate. In more advanced production setups, the resin can be spin coated, spray-coated, or ink-jet printed onto the substrates. In such setups you would also use working stamps rather than the master for replication of devices.
UV replication can be performed wafer-to-wafer, roll-to-roll, roll-to-plate, as well as other configurations.
UV replication and how we can help
NIL Technology offers UV replication in a variety of different ways:
- High Volume Manufacturing: NIL Technology has a network of partners that offer production of millions of devices per months. We have a close collaboration with our network to ensure that our high-quality masters produce high quality components with high yield.
- Prototyping: We have prototyping capabilities that allow us to make 5-100 wafer replicas of a master wafer. Chip packaging and quality inspection are included in the prototyping service as agreed with the customers.
- UV replication tools: NIL Technology offers several different tools that allow lab scale UV replication or in-house prototyping
- Compact Nano Imprint Tool: Our flexible, small, and cost-effective imprint tool can also do UV replication. Currently, in Version 2.1 there are two different chamber options. CNI v2.1-100 mm will allow for UV replication on substrates up 100 mm diameter. CNI v2.1-150 mm allows UV replication of substrates and masters of up to 200 mm diameter (150 mm is the maximum for thermal replication)
- EZI UV Nanoimprint System PL400/600 is a UV nanoimprint tool that allows UV replication of 1”, 2”, 4”, and 6” wafers. It has alignment and auto-release capabilities.