Although several studies on the roll-to-roll (R2R) imprinting process have reported achieving flexible electronics, improving the alignment accuracy in the overlay process of R2R imprinting is recognized as the biggest problem for the commercialization of this technology. For an overlay technique with high alignment accuracy, it is essential to develop a roll mold with high positional accuracy. In this study, a method for fabricating a roll mold with high positional accuracy is proposed by wrapping a thin glass substrate flexible mold around the transparent roll base, because it can provide higher mechanical strength and thermal stability than a conventional polymer substrate. To confirm the usability of the proposed process, the prepared roll mold was used to fabricate a test pattern of thin-film transistor backplane for a rollable display. The positional and overlay accuracy of the roll mold with the proposed thin glass substrate flexible mold were compared with the roll mold with a conventional polymer substrate flexible mold. Large-area transparent flexible molds with a size of 470 × 370 mm were fabricated by an ultraviolet (UV) imprinting process on thin glass and polyethylene terephthalate substrates, and these flexible molds were wrapped around a roll base of 125 mm radius through a precision alignment process. After an anti-adhesion treatment and the wrapping process, the roll mold with the polymer substrate showed a ∼180 μm positional error, whereas the thin glass substrate showed a ∼30 μm positional error. After the overlay process using the R2R imprinting system with the alignment system, an average overlay error of ∼3 μm was obtained when the thin glass flexible wrapped roll mold was used, whereas a ∼22 μm overlay error was obtained when the polymer substrate flexible wrapped roll mold was used.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Global Leading Technology Program funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea (10042433) and in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (No. 2015R1A5A1037668), and in part by Global Frontier Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2014M3A6B3063732).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering