Since the first introduction of nanoimprint lithography (NIL) in 1995 [1] there has been worldwide interest for various applications. NIL is a powerful nanopatterning method for two principal reasons. Firstly, as a mechanical imprint process, it does not suffer spatial resolution limitation associated with exposure wavelength of optical lithography, and secondly, it replicates practically any nano- or micro-scale pattern from a template wafer to a target wafer using a relatively simple, fast and cost effective process. We report soft UV-NIL technique and present two applications demonstrating its potential in nanophotonics. The soft UV-NIL utilizes UV-transparent, soft and flexible stamps which enables imprinting of large areas with a simple process without strict requirements for flatness of the wafer. Elimination of all lateral distortions often associated with the soft stamps has been the main development task of the technique. Presently, we are able to demonstrate low imprint-to-imprint-error (less than 8ppm in period of the grating), and to show that a constant, distortion free, period is maintained in the imprinted gratings across large areas. We demonstrate the use of the soft UV-NIL in two important applications. We show, first time in the world, soft UV-NIL based process for fabricating a distributed feedback laser diode (DFB-LD) and illustrate a fabrication process for a nanostructured waveguide in LiNbO3-crystal intended for frequency conversion.

© 2009 IEEE

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