The Micro-nano Melt Transcription Molding Process might sound a mouthful but developer The Japan Steel Works (JSW, Tokyo) views it as a promising process for molding exotic precision products such as lenticular lenses and biochips.
Melt Transcription Molding machine (top) extrudes melt across stamper tool (bottom) to realize up to nano-level transcription.
Demonstrated at the recent IPF show in Japan, the process can mold in thicknesses of between 100 µm and 5 mm in aspect ratios of up to 12. The process employs square stamper tools of standard size 130 x 130 mm or 148.5 x 124 mm, and resin is laid into the tool through a flat die that traverses over it. Then follows the stamping process.
At IPF the MTM II130-30 machine on show was molding a pattern from general purpose polystyrene resin with 10-µm pitch and 50-µm depth (representing an aspect ratio of 5). The finest pattern achievable is reportedly 60-nm pitch and 250-nm depth.
JSW has a test unit at its Hiroshima site currently booked out by companies wanting to evaluate the MTM process. Two machines are already operating in the field. Starting price is reportedly of the order of 45 million yen ($575,000). JSW also envisages application in flat panel display, solar cell, semiconductor and data storage device segments.-[email protected]