Knowledge Center
Knowledge Center

Nanoimprint Lithography

A hot embossing process type of lithography.


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) resembles a hot embossing process, which enables fine features on a structure. In NIL, the desired structure is patterned onto a master template or mold. The template is patterned using an e-beam or scanner. Then, with a NIL tool, the template with the desired patterns is pressed into a thin resist cast on a substrate. The template is removed, thereby duplicating the patterns on the substrate.

Nanoimprint is a cost-effective, single-exposure technique that doesn’t require expensive optics and multiple patterning. But the technology has some issues in terms of defectivity, overlay and throughput, preventing it from becoming a more mainstream lithographic technology. Today, NIL is mainly used for non-semiconductor applications, but has been used by Toshiba for planar NAND with 3D NAND on the horizon. Other markets include photonics and biotechnology.