Innovative approach for replicating micropatterns in a conducting polymer
Three-step procedure to fabricate conducting polymer micropatterns using the ILL method (cross-section schematics): (a) heating of the substrate, (b) insertion of the mold into the conducting polymer and intermediate polymer layers on the substrate, and, finally, separation of the mold and the substrate; two possible separation results are shown in (c) (1) and (c) (2), respectively: (c) (1) the part of the conducting polymer right underneath the convex mold structures stays on the substrate because of their weak bonding strength, and (c) (2) this part of the conducting polymer sticks to the convex mold structures and is taken away from the substrate by those mold structures due to their strong bonding strength (not to scale).
(a) “Height variations” and “residual layer” obstacles that both hot-embossing and nanoimprint lithography approaches face in patterning a conducting polymer, and (b) these two obstacles are overcome in the ILL method due to introduction of the intermediate layer of a nonconducting polymer.
Schematic of coating on the sidewalls of convex Si mold structures.
Optical pictures of typical patterns generated on a PMMA sheet (left- hand side) and the corresponding patterns on the mold (right-hand side) after the separation of the PMMA sheet and the mold: (a) (1) -channel structures, (b)(1) a truss structure, (c) (1) square holes with a period of , (d) (1) square dots with a period of (insert: a close-up view of a square dot), and (e) (1) square holes with a period of ; (a) (2), (b) (2), (c) (2), (d) (2), and (e) (2) are the corresponding patterns on the mold.
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