Replication of nanopits and nanopillars by roll-to-roll extrusion coating using a structured cooling roll

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This paper investigates a novel, very high throughput, roll-to-roll (R2R) process for nanostructuring of polymer foils, called R2R extrusion coating. It has the potential to accelerate the integration of nanostructured materials in consumer products for a variety of applications, including optical, technical, and functional surfaces and devices. In roll-to-roll extrusion coating, a molten polymer film is extruded through a flat die forming a melt curtain, and then laminated onto a carrier foil. The lamination occurs as the melt curtain is pressed between a cooling roller and a counter roller. By mounting a nanostructured metal shim on the surface of the cooling roller, the relief structure from the shim can be replicated onto a thermoplastic foil. Among the benefits of P oil, the process are availability of a wide range of commercial extruders, off-the-shelf extrusion grade polymers, functional additives, polymeric materials with good diffusion barrier properties, and the overall maturity of the technology [S. H. Ahn and L. J. Guo, Adv. Mater. 20, 2044 (2008)]. In this article, the authors demonstrate replication of nanopits and nanopillars with diameters between 40 and 120 nm and depth/height of 100 nm. The best replication was achieved in polypropylene, by running at high roller line-speed of 60 m/min, and high cooling roller temperature of 70°C. Replication in other common polymers like polyethylene and polystyrene was not possible for the parameter range used for the investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number06KM02
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology. Part B. Nanotechnology & Microelectronics
Issue number6
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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