Scalable method for rapid processing of dies or stamps used for nano-imprinting, stamping, molding.

About

Background

One of the most significant barriers to widespread commercialization of nano-manufacturing is the interfacing of multiple components and features across multiple length scales. In general, human beings typically interact with devices with dimensions ranging from millimeter to meter ranges. Robotic systems can be easily and reliably designed to interface features and components down to micron levels. However, finer interfacing typically requires more costly and esoteric closed loop positioning systems such as mask aligners and scanning electron microscopes having vibration isolation mechanisms and in some cases complex laser interferometric position sensors.  The bulk, cost, and time consuming operation of these instruments and processes often preclude their use in mass production and assembly techniques. Further, instruments that can manipulate objects at the sub-micron and nanometer scale are often not adapted to handle objects at larger length scales. Therefore, there is an urgent need for designing novel methods for performing for self-alignment and assembly of objects with micron and nanometer-level features.

Technology

Dr. Kazmer has proposed a novel fractal pattern design of fasteners at decreasing size scales for passive assembly of objects with micron and nano-scale features. This method allows the larger features to serve to align the components on a larger scale and with larger forces before the smaller alignment features of the components are engaged. In this way, gross misalignments on larger scales are avoided which would otherwise cause the destruction of smaller features upon attempted mating, enabling alignment of multiple features at multiple length scales and without special equipment. 

Advantages


Significant cost saving as precise alignment of components in product assembly leads to less waste generation
Expensive alignment and imaging techniques not necessary for manufacturing
Scalable method for rapid processing of dies or stamps used for nano-imprinting, stamping, molding
 

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