Pattern fidelity in nanoimprinted films using CD-SAXS

Ronald L. Jones*, Christopher L. Soles, Eric K. Lin, Walter Hu, Ronald M. Reano, Stella W. Pang, Steven J. Weigand, Denis T. Keane, John P. Quintana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The primary measure of process quality in nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is the fidelity of pattern transfer, comparing the dimensions of the imprinted pattern to those of the mold. As a potential next generation lithography, NIL is capable of true nanofabrication, producing patterns of sub-10 nm dimensions. Routine production of nanoscale patterns will require new metrologies capable of non-destructive dimensional measurements of both the mold and the pattern with sub-nm precision. In this article, a rapid, non-destructive technique termed Critical Dimension Small Angle X-ray Scattering (CD-SAXS) is used to measure the cross sectional shape of both a pattern master, or mold, and the resulting imprinted films. CD-SAXS data are used to extract periodicity as well as pattern height, width, and sidewall angles. Films of varying materials are molded by thermal embossed NIL at temperatures both near and far from the bulk glass transition (T G). The polymer systems include a photoresist, representing a mixture of a polymer and small molecular components, and two pure homopolymers. Molding at low temperatures (T-T G < 40 °C) produces small aspect ratio patterns that maintain periodicity to within a single nanometer, but feature large sidewall angles. While the pattern height does not reach that of the mold until very large imprinting temperatures (T-T G ≈ 70 °C), the pattern width of the mold is accurately transferred for T-T G > 30 °C. In addition to obtaining basic dimensions, CD-SAXS data are used to assess the origin of loss in pattern fidelity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue numberI
StatePublished - Sep 19 2005
EventEmerging Lithographic Technologies IX - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 1 2005Mar 3 2005


  • CD Metrology
  • Nanoimprint Lithography
  • Sub-100 nm lithography
  • X-ray scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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