Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Krchnavek, Robert


Lithography--Printing; Nanoscience; Nanoimprint lithography


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Nanotechnology Fabrication


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) has proven to achieve arbitrary, nanoscale features, over large areas, without the use of costly step-and-repeat UV lithography tools. The fidelity of the imprinted pattern depends on the elimination of the adhesion between the imprinted polymer and the imprinter upon withdrawal of the imprinter. The plasma deposition of a layer of fluorinated diamond-like carbon (F-DLC) has proven to be a successful anti-adhesion layer but in the past has required an entire diamond-like carbon (DLC) substrate. The requirement that the imprinter be made of DLC limits the imprinter processing and can limit the capabilities of NIL. DLC films are considered to be an amorphous state of carbon. They have properties similar to diamond proving them to be very strong with chemical inertness and low friction coefficients due to their sp3 and sp2 bonds. Dopants such as fluorine can alter the chemical properties of the DLC or the surface of the DLC. The incorporation of fluorine in DLC films greatly reduces the surface free energy while retaining many of the DLC properties. In this work, ultra-thin F-DLC is used as a NIL imprinter coating with a surface energy approaching 17.6 mJ/m2 to provide a durable anti-wear, anti-stick layer. DLC is a tough coating with a low surface energy and the fluorinated self-assembled monolayer on top of the DLC lowers the surface energy further while retaining the strength properties of the DLC. The application of an ultra-thin F-DLC anti-adhesion layer to standard NIL imprinter processing (SiO2 imprinters) as well as various other imprinter material systems (inorganics, metals, polymers) has not been previously tested. It may lead to a universal and ultra-thin (<5 >nm) coating for eliminating adhesion between the imprinter and the NIL sample resist.