Carl Zeiss Opens Customer Demo Laboratory for Nano-imprint Technology
The Nano Technology Systems Division (NTS) at Carl Zeiss SMT AG today opened a customer demo laboratory for sales support of Step & Flash Imprint Lithography (S-FILTM) equipment from Molecular Imprints, Inc. During the last months, NTS created the required infrastructure including clean rooms, imprint systems, process technology and measuring equipment, and built up a group of dedicated experts. The first tool, an Imprio 100 demo system, has already been installed, while a second system and additional equipment for the implementation of the entire process chain will follow.
First customer presentations will already take place in December. S-FILTM, which was developed by the US company Molecular Imprints Inc. (MII, Austin/Texas), is a cost-effective step and repeat, nano-imprint lithography technology for the replication of µm and nm patterns in components, such as devices with optical and photonic structures (diffractive optical elements, optoelectroncis), MEMS / NEMS, micro displays, compound semiconductor devices and many more.
MII is the market leader in nano-imprint lithography. Carl Zeiss SMT AG has placed an equity investment in MII in 2003 and is exclusive distribu-tor for MII´s systems in Europe. Today MII manufactures three different nano-imprint systems, the Imprio 50/55 and the Imprio 100. The new customer demo laboratory offers customers the opportunity to experi-ence and test the potential of this technology for their applications.
Dr. Harry Bauer, Member of the Board at Carl Zeiss NTS GmbH, con-siders S-FILTM technology a promising complementary technology to optical lithography, in particular for emerging markets: "Step and Flash Imprint Technology will be widely employed in rapidly-growing devel-opment and application fields in nanotechnology. Furthermore, it deliv-ers many synergies with our current product portfolio. For example, the electron-optical technologies produced by NTS can be used for manu-facturing, quality control and repair of templates, which represent the patterning elements for S-FIL technology."
Dr. Norman E. Schumaker, Chairman, CEO and President of Molecular Imprints expressed his pleasure at the opening of the facility: “This marks an important milestone for our Company. With the opening of the Carl Zeiss NTS demo facility in Oberkochen, we can now provide our European customers a high level of applications and technology sup-port, similar to our US customers. We look forward to exploring the wide range of applications that S-FIL technology provides to our customers.”
Along with sales support, the application laboratory is set up to present and evaluate technology based on Step & Flash Imprint Lithography. NTS has already applied for funding for the development of nano-optical components and templates from the German Ministry of Educa-tion and Research as well as from the Research Directorate Industrial Technologies of the European Commission. The latter project has al-ready been succesfully evaluated.