11 Jun 2020
Chemicals expertise from new partner Micro Resist Technology aimed at diffractive optical elements and more.
The lithography equipment firm SUSS MicroTec says it has established a joint venture with Berlin-based Micro Resist Technology (MRT), with the aim of advancing applications of their novel patterning technology in photonics.
For example, the two companies say that nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is a key enabler in additive manufacturing, thanks to its capacity for high-fidelity pattern transfer.
NIL’s UV-curing stamp process is also said to be used increasingly to make components like diffractive optical elements (DOEs) for augmented reality (AR) glasses, with other potential applications in optical sensors, and laser-patterned materials for anti-counterfeiting.
In addition, at SPIE's Photonics West event earlier this year Henning Schroeder from Fraunhofer IZM presented results from a joint project in which MRT’s hybrid polymers were applied via a novel "picodispenser" system for photonics applications.
MRT will bring its materials expertise to the partnership, providing what SUSS describes as one of the three “pillars” - along with equipment and processing capability - needed to ensure high-fidelity NIL.
“The requirements for nanoimprint lithography and its applications are continuously changing,” pointed out SUSS.
“Therefore, the fundamental objective of the cooperation is to understand newly emerging requirements - and to solve them by implementing solutions at both process and materials level, thus addressing the high challenges set by the players in this industry.
“The combination of these three pillars allows [us] to better serve the high-demanding need [sic] of the industry with its ever more challenging requirements on the replication of nanostructures.”
SUSS’ CEO Franz Richter stated: “Further strengthening this cluster through a strong partnership with a leading resist supplier and experienced material manufacturer is mandatory in order to enable the perfect imprinting solutions."
MRT founder and CEO Gabi Grützner added: “Our profound know-how on polymer chemistry and replication processes allows us to provide state-of-the-art material solutions, which addresses a growing number of industrial use-cases where replication technology is applied for manufacturing consumer products.
“We are delighted about the cooperation with our partner within the alliance since our customers’ success of industrial imprint processes can be streamlined when materials and equipment are attuned to each other.
“This is the great opportunity we see in the SUSS Imprint Excellence Center as the right package is delivered to the community to make NIL available to more industrial users.”