Title:
Rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting includes a roller and a filmed metal template. The roller has a round outer surface. The filmed metal template is disposed with a microstructured film imprint pattern and changeably coupled to the roller by magnetic force or vacuum suction. Rolling of the roller allows the microstructured film imprint pattern to form a microstructured film, thus solving the drawbacks of the prior art.



Inventors:
Lai, Wen-lang (Hsinchu Hsien, TW)
Chang, Fuh-yu (Hsinchu Hsien, TW)
Peng, Jung-kang (Hsinchu Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/634876
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
12/07/2006
Assignee:
Industrial Technology Research Institute
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/895.2
International Classes:
B21D53/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CIGNA, JACOB JAMES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (8110 Gatehouse Road Suite 100 East, Falls Church, VA, 22042-1248, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting, the rolling mold comprising: a roller with a round outer surface; and a filmed metal template disposed with a microstructured film imprint pattern and coupled to said round outer surface of said roller by vacuum suction.

2. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 1, wherein said round outer surface of said roller comprises a template containing portion.

3. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 2, wherein said template containing portion is a groove.

4. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 2, wherein said template containing portion comprises a plurality of grooves and a plurality of holes, for attaching said filmed metal template to said roller by vacuum suction.

5. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 1, wherein said round outer surface of said roller comprises a plurality of grooves and a plurality of holes, for attaching said filmed metal template to said roller by vacuum suction.

6. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 1, wherein said roller is a metal roller.

7. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 1, wherein said filmed metal template has a thickness ranging from 0.05 mm to 0.2 mm.

8. A rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting, the rolling mold comprising: a roller with a round outer surface; and a filmed metal template made of a magnetically permeable material, disposed with a microstructured film pattern, and coupled to said round outer surface of said roller by magnetic suction.

9. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 8, wherein said round outer surface of said roller comprises a template containing portion.

10. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 9, wherein said template containing portion is a groove.

11. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 8, further comprising a magnetic substance disposed between said roller and said filmed metal template and adapted to couple said filmed metal template to said roller.

12. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 11, wherein said magnetic substance is one selected from the group consisting of a soft magnet, an alloy magnet, a permanent magnet, and an electromagnet.

13. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 11, wherein said magnetic substance is disposed on said round outer surface of said roller.

14. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 11, wherein said magnetic substance is coupled to said roller by a glue.

15. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 8, wherein said roller is a metal roller.

16. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 8, wherein said roller is made of a magnetically permeable material.

17. The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of claim 8, wherein said filmed metal template has a thickness ranging from 0.05 mm to 0.2 mm.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an imprint technology, and more particularly to a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting.

2. Description of Related Art

As the line width of an integrated circuit becomes increasingly narrower and traditional photolithography technologies are used for fabrications, the integrated circuit fabrication is restricted by the diffraction of light if the line width of an integrated circuit is smaller than the wavelength of the light; for instance, the fabrication of integrated circuits of a smaller size will be very difficult when the line width is below 100 nanometers. A research conducted by Stephen Y. Chou of Princeton University pioneered the nano-imprint lithography (NIL) imprints a pattern having a line width less than 10 nm by high temperature and high pressure, and its related technology has been disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,905.

Thereafter, a step and stamp imprint lithography (SSIL) technology and a roller imprint lithography technology were disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,870 and Taiwanese Patent Publication No. 548433.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,870 discloses a method for duplicating a nanoscale pattern, and the method comprises the steps of: using a roller for the imprint and selectively coating a release coating on the surface of the roller; covering the release coating completely with a layer of polymer resist; rolling the roller on a mold having the pattern, such that the polymer resist on the surface of the roller forms a symmetric pattern; or selectively coating a layer of UV-curable polymer resist on the surface of a mold having the pattern; and rolling the roller on the mold to form a polymer resist having a symmetric pattern on the surface of the roller. As disclosed in the patent, the polymer resist having a pattern on the surface of roller is used for imprinting the pattern onto a glass substrate.

However, the objective of the aforesaid patent is to produce a nanoscaled metal grid, and thus the material for making the template of the roller is a polymer material directly made by lithography and transferred to the roller. Since the template is made of a polymer material and manufactured by an adhering method, therefore the microstructure must be damaged when the template is separated, and the template cannot be recycled. In the meantime, the prior art can be applied to a template with a small area, but the prior art cannot be used for the mass production of mold cavities with a large area. Since the polymer template employed by the prior art may be worn out easily, the template not only has a shorter life, but also takes a longer time for the preparation of its operations and incurs a higher cost. As mentioned above, the prior art is intended for fabrication of nanostructured film, the prior art is only applicable for the nanostructured films with a simple shape but cannot be used for a more complicated process when necessary.

Taiwanese Patent Publication No. 548433 discloses an optical film, a reflecting film, a liquid crystal display panel, a method and an apparatus for manufacturing optical films, a method for manufacturing stencil rollers, and a method and an apparatus for laminating optical films. As disclosed in the patent, the surface of the roller comprises a plurality of matrix indents or protrusions arranged continuously, linearly, and in parallel with each other and constituting a predetermined angle of inclination with the circumferential direction of the roller. The indents or protrusions are provided for the roller to roll on the film, such that the portions of the indents or protrusions are imprinted on a surface of the film.

However, as disclosed in the aforesaid patent, the optical reflective film with a surface disclosed with conical protrusions is intended to prevent wavy interferences, and the template of the roller is also made of a polymer material, and thus the aforesaid patent has the same drawback as U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,870 does, that is, the template cannot be recycled. In the meantime, the application of this prior art requires several rollers such as a stencil roller, a filming roller, a collecting roller and a feeding roller for film fabrication, and the application is also limited to the process for manufacturing mold cavities with a small area, and it cannot be used for the production of mold cavities having a large area, and its complicated operation is unfavorable for the manufacture.

Since this prior art also uses the polymer materials, the resultant template is readily worn out and therefore short-life, takes a long time for operation-preparation, and incurs a high manufacturing cost. This prior art is applicable for manufacturing one-dimensional or simple nanostructured films, but cannot be used for manufacturing micron or nanostructured films with a more complicated shape, and thus the scope of its application is limited.

Summarizing the shortcomings of the prior arts, their applications are unfavorable for mass production, their template cannot be recycled, and they come with a high cost, a long manufacturing time and a limited scope of application. Therefore, finding a way to overcome the foregoing shortcomings of the prior arts demands immediate attentions and feasible solutions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, it is a primary objective of the present invention to provide a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting such that the rolling mold is suitable for mass production.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting such that the template of the rolling mold is recyclable.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting such that the template of the rolling mold can be changed easily.

To achieve the foregoing objectives and other objectives, the present invention provides a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting. The rolling mold comprises a roller and a filmed metal template. The roller has a round outer surface. The filmed metal template is disposed with a microstructured film imprint pattern and coupled to the round outer surface of the roller by vacuum suction.

In the foregoing rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting, the roller is, but is not limited to, a metal roller. In a preferred embodiment, the round outer surface of the roller has a template containing portion exemplified by a groove in this embodiment. In another preferred embodiment, the template containing portion selectively comprises a plurality of grooves and holes for adhering to the filmed metal template by vacuum suction. In a further preferred embodiment, a plurality of grooves and holes can be built directly on the round outer surface of the roller for adhering to the filmed metal template by vacuum suction.

The rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting further comprises a roller and a filmed metal template. The roller has a round outer surface. The filmed metal template is made of a magnetically permeable material, disposed with a microstructured film imprint pattern, and coupled to the round outer surface of the roller by magnetic force.

In the foregoing rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting, the roller is, but is not limited to, a metal roller. In a preferred embodiment, the round outer surface of the roller comprises a template containing portion exemplified by a groove in this embodiment. In another preferred embodiment, a magnetic substance is provided for connecting the filmed metal template, and the magnetic substance is one selected from the collection of a soft magnet, an alloy magnet, a permanent magnet and an electromagnet, and the magnetic substance can be selectively installed at the round outer surface of the roller or the template containing portion of the roller. In the meantime, the magnetic substance can be coupled to the roller by a glue.

Compared with the prior art, a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting in accordance with the present invention can use magnetic force or vacuum suction to couple a filmed metal template having a large area to a roller to produce a rolling mold for imprinting a microstructure. This rolling mold is applicable for mass productions, while the rolling template of the invention can be connected with or separated from the roller easily. The operation is simple and easy, and the position can be adjusted flexibly. In addition, the filmed metal template of the invention features a high hardness, a long life, and a relatively low cost. The invention is applicable for manufacturing microstructures or nanostructures with a complicated shape, and thus the scope of applicability can be broadened to overcome the limited applications of the prior art.

Summarizing the above, the present invention discloses a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting and a method for manufacturing the same with advantages, such as high suitability for mass production, template recycling, low cost, short manufacturing process, and high industrial applicability, so as to overcome the existing problems of the prior art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flow chart of a method of fabricating a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of a second preferred embodiment of the present invention, with a filmed metal template not shown in the drawing;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view showing a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of a third preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting of a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following specific embodiments are provided to illustrate the present invention. Persons of ordinary skill in the art can readily gain an insight into other advantages and features of the present invention based on the contents disclosed in this specification.

First Embodiment

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 for the schematic views of a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting according to a first preferred embodiment of the invention, a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting 1 comprises a roller 11, a filmed metal template 13 coupled to the roller 11, and a magnetic substance 15 disposed between the roller 11 and the filmed metal template 13.

The roller 11 has a round outer surface 111, and the round outer surface 111 has an appropriate round outer tolerance to allow the magnetic substance 15 to be embeddedly attached to the round outer surface 111. In this embodiment, the roller 11 is a non-metal roller, and the round outer surface 111 of the roller 11 has a template containing portion 1111 such as a groove. It is noteworthy that the template containing portion 1111 of this embodiment surrounds the round outer surface 111 completely, but it is not limited to such arrangement. The template containing portion 1111 can also be installed at a portion of the round outer surface 111 of the roller 11. In other words, persons having ordinary skill in the art can modify the design according to actual needs for installing the filmed metal template 13, and providing a microstructured film required for the imprint.

The filmed metal template 13 is made of a magnetically permeable material and has a microstructure film imprint pattern (not shown), and the filmed metal template 13 can be changeably coupled to the round outer surface 111 of the roller 11, such that the roller 11 can be rolled for imprinting the microstructured film imprint pattern. In this embodiment, an electron beam lithography and etching technology can be used to produce a small template, and then a female mold with a large area is produced by an imprint, and then a filmed metal template for the imprint is produced by an electroforming method, such that its thickness falls within the range from 0.05 mm to 0.2 mm. Since the technologies of manufacturing the filmed metal template 13 and its microstructured film imprint pattern are prior arts, and thus will not be described here. It is noteworthy that the schematic views are simplified for illustrating the structure of the filmed metal template 13 of the present invention, and the quantity, shape, and dimensions of the structures shown in the drawings are not necessary the actual quantity, shape, and dimensions of the structures used in actual practice. Further, the filmed metal template 13 of this embodiment could be a template made of a metal, and the metal is, but is not limited to, nickel. The filmed metal template 13 could also be made of another metal or an indium alloy.

The magnetic substance 15 is changeably coupled to the filmed metal template 13. In this embodiment, the magnetic substance 15 is disposed at the template containing portion 1111 of the roller 11. In the meantime, the magnetic substance 15 is coupled to the template containing portion 1111 of the roller 11 by a glue 151. In addition, the magnetic substance 15 of this embodiment is a soft magnet, but in other embodiments, the magnetic substance 15 could be an alloy magnet, a permanent magnet, an electromagnet or other equivalent magnets. It is noteworthy that persons having ordinary skill in the art can modify the thickness of the filmed metal template 13 and the magnetic substance 15 as appropriate, and thus the thicknesses are not limited to those specified in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 2, which is a flow chart of a method of manufacturing a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting in accordance with the present invention, the method comprises the steps of: providing a roller 11 having a round outer surface (Step S1); providing a filmed metal template 13 having a microstructured film imprint pattern, for imprinting and forming a microstructured film (Step S2); and coupling changeably the filmed metal template 13 to the surface of the roller 11 (Step S3).

In this preferred embodiment, the magnetic substance 15 is coupled to the template containing portion 1111 of the roller 11 by means of a glue 151, and then the filmed metal template 13 is coupled to the magnetic substance 15. Therefore, the filmed metal template 13 can be changeably coupled to the roller 11 by magnetic force. Although this embodiment discloses coupling the magnetic substance 15 to the roller 11 and then the filmed metal template 13 to the magnetic substance 15, other embodiments may disclose coupling the filmed metal template 13 to the magnetic substance 15 and then coupling the magnetic substance 15 coupled to the filmed metal template 13 to the roller 11, and thus it is not limited to the arrangement of this embodiment.

In Step S3 of this embodiment, the filmed metal template 13 can be changeably coupled to the surface of the roller 11 by magnetic force, but persons of ordinary skill in the art can understand that a means to achieve the effect for the changeable connection is not limited to magnetic force as illustrated in this embodiment; instead, the same purpose can be achieved by vacuum suction as well. Therefore, the filmed metal template 13 can be changeably coupled to the surface of the roller 11 by vacuum suction instead for the Step S3 of the manufacturing procedure of the invention. The steps for achieving this embodiment by vacuum suction is substantially the same as those by magnetic force and thereby are not described again herein.

Compared with the prior art, this embedment discloses coupling the filmed metal template to the roller by magnetic force in a way characterized by perfect coupling, ease of operation, and high suitability for mass production. Since the template is changeably coupled to the roller, the template is recyclable, flexible in terms of installation position, not susceptible to damage, and conducive to reduction in process time and production costs, whether the process is a hot press imprint process or a UV polymer imprinting process. In addition, the present invention discloses a filmed metal template with high strength such that the template is characterized by long life and low manufacturing cost. Further, the present invention can be applied to the fast developing optoelectronic, optical, or consumer goods industries and products such as backlight panels or anti-reflection films and therefore is conducive to the upgrade of the related industries. Therefore, the present invention is suitable for mass production, and the template can be recycled, so as to cut the costs, reduce the process time, and upgrade the related industries. The present invention definitely overcomes the aforementioned shortcomings of the prior art.

Second Embodiment

Referring to FIG. 3, which are schematic views of a second preferred embodiment of the present invention, elements identical or similar to those described in the foregoing embodiment are represented by the symbols of identical or similar elements, and the related detailed description is herein omitted for brevity.

The most significant differences between the second preferred embodiment and the first preferred embodiment are as follows: the roller of the first embodiment is a non-metal roller, but the roller of the second embodiment is a metal roller; and the filmed metal template of the first embodiment is disposed at the template containing portion on the roller round outer surface of the roller, and the filmed metal template of the second embodiment is disposed on the round outer surface of the roller.

Referring to FIG. 3, the magnetic substance 15 is embedded into a portion of a round outer surface 111 of the roller 11, and the magnetic substance 15 is a magnetic element such as an alloy magnet or other equivalent magnets, and the magnetism of the magnetic substance 15 can be used for coupling the filmed metal template 13 of the first embodiment to the magnetic substance 15 and the roller 11. In other words, the rolling mold of this embodiment is suitable for a roller having a large curvature and a thick template.

Third Embodiment

Referring to FIG. 4, which is a schematic view of a third preferred embodiment of the present invention, elements identical or similar to those described in the foregoing embodiment are represented by the symbols of identical or similar elements, and the related detailed description is herein omitted for brevity.

The most significant difference between the roller of the third embodiment and the roller of the foregoing embodiments resides in that the roller of the third embodiment is a roller made of a magnetically permeable material.

Referring to FIG. 4, the roller 11 is a roller made of a magnetically permeable material, and thus the glue 151 used in the first embodiment can be omitted, and the roller 11 can be coupled directly to the magnetic substance 15, and the magnetic force of the magnetic substance 15 can couple the filmed metal template 13 to the roller 11 at the same time.

From the second and third embodiments, the glue used in the first embodiment for gluing the metal roller or the roller made of a magnetically permeable material can be omitted, so as to avoid any air bubble produced during the gluing process and allow users to adjust the installation position of the filmed metal template 13 easily.

Fourth Embodiment

Referring to FIG. 5, which is a schematic view of the fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention, elements identical or similar to those described in the foregoing embodiments are represented by the symbols of identical or similar elements, and the related detailed description is herein omitted for brevity.

The most significant difference between the fourth embodiment and the foregoing embodiments is: the foregoing embodiments disclose coupling the filmed metal template to the roller by magnetic force, but the fourth embodiment discloses coupling the filmed metal template to the roller by vacuum suction.

Referring to FIG. 4, the roller 11 of the fourth embodiment has a round outer surface 111, and the round outer surface 111 has a template containing portion 1111, a plurality of grooves 1113 disposed in the template containing portion 1111 and a plurality of holes 1115 disposed in each corresponding groove 1113, such that the grooves 1113 and holes 1115 work with an external pump equipment to adhere the filmed metal template 13 by vacuum suction.

Of course, a plurality of grooves and holes can be built directly on the round outer surface of the roller in other embodiments for adhering the filmed metal template by vacuum suction. Further the vacuum suction can be used for coupling the filmed metal template to the round outer surface of the roller instead of the template containing portion, so as to simplify and reduce the quantity of required components. Such modifications can be conceived and accomplished by persons having ordinary skill in the art according to the actual needs, and thus the detailed description of equivalent modifications and their related drawings is omitted herein.

In summary, the present invention provides a rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting and a manufacturing method thereof and mainly uses magnetic force or vacuum suction for coupling a filmed metal template with a large surface area to a roller so as to produce the nanostructured film. Therefore, the rolling mold disclosed in the present invention is suitable for mass production and is equipped with a template flexible in terms of installation position, easy to be installed and replaced, and durable. Therefore, the rolling mold for microstructured film imprinting disclosed in the present invention is suitable for mass production, requires a very short manufacturing process, incurs less cost, and is applicable to micron or nano structures having a complicated shape, and thus overcoming the existing shortcomings of the prior art.

While the principle of the invention and its effects have been described by means of specific embodiments, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by persons having ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention set forth in the claims. For instance, the metal roller of the second embodiment could be modified to a roller made of a magnetically permeable material. Thus, the spirit and scope of the appended claims are to be accorded with the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and similar structures.