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Nanoimprint Lithography System Market Increased Sales By 8 Percent To $60.63 Million Worldwide In 2017
Tuesday, 21 Jul, 2020
Imprinting technology is an ancient technique for the reproduction of writings on appropriate supports. Since 1990′s, one of the imprinting techniques, i.e., injection moulding has been used for compact disk (CD) production. More recently, the semiconductor industry is interested in imprint related techniques because of the mass production requirement of future microelectronic circuits with a possible critical dimension down to a few nanometers. At this deep nanometer scale, traditional photolithography is supposed to rule out because of the optical diffraction or material limitations. In fact, the actual minimum feature size in an integrated circuit (IC) is already less than 50 nm and the actual manufacturing systems are already extremely sophisticated and expensive. The semiconductor industry has always been looking for alternative patterning methods in order to follow Moore′s law, which has been formulated to predict the evolution of the technology nodes. Now, extreme UV lithography (EUV), 193 nm immersion lithography, mask less lithography (MLL) techniques and nanoimprint lithography (NIL) are considered as candidates for the so called Next Generation Lithography (NGL) at 32 nm and 22 nm nodes. In parallel, imprint technology has been promoted by a large scientific community and non-IC industry segments including high-density storage, optoelectronics, telecommunication as well as biochips or micro total analysis systems.

The history of imprint technology as lithography method for pattern replication can be traced back to 1970’s but the most significant progress has been made by the research group of S. Chou in the 1990’s. Since then, it has become a popular technique with a rapidly growing interest from both research and industrial sides and a variety of new approaches have been proposed along the mainstream scientific advances. Indeed, the initial proposal of Chou et al. has been made for the mass production of high density magnetic storage media and it has been used to demonstrate the feasibility of all kind of fine structure patterning at a nanometer scale resolution which is now called nanoimprint lithography.

Nanoimprint lithography is based on surface structuring with a template consisting of topographic patterns. After imprinting, the patterns have to be transferred in order to obtain different functionalities. As lithography method, nanoimprint is fully compatible to the standard micro-fabrication techniques, including different transfer processes such as etching, lift-off, selective re-growth or diffusion. In most cases, a thin layer of resist is deposited on the substrate and then imprinted, resulting in a thickness contrast. This may need a further treatment by reactive ion etching (RIE) to remove the residual resist layer and to transfer the features into the used substrate material. Therefore, the process control of both imprinting and etching are important in order to obtain a suitable resist profile without any residual layer. For some particular applications, the resist layer can be replaced by functional materials or omitted for an imprint directly into the substrate.

Nanoimprint lithography is a method of fabricating nanometer scale patterns. It is a simple nanolithography process with low cost, high throughput and high resolution. It creates patterns by mechanical deformation of imprint resist and subsequent processes. The imprint resist is typically a monomer or polymer formulation that is cured by heat or UV light during the imprinting. Adhesion between the resist and the template is controlled to allow proper release.

Compared to 2016, Nanoimprint Lithography System market increased sales by 8 percent to $60.63 million worldwide in 2017 from $56.14 million in 2016. It shows that the Nanoimprint Lithography System market performance is positive, despite the weak economic environment. The global nanoimprint lithography system market size is estimated to grow from USD 66.80 million in 2018 to USD 115.15 million by 2023, at an estimated CAGR of 11.51% between 2018 and 2023. 

With regards to this, key players of nanoimprint lithography system industry are expected to find potential opportunities in this market. The world leading vendors in the market are Obducat which accounted the revenue market share of 35.56%, followed by EV Group and Canon.

Globally, 145 units nanoimprint lithography system have been put into the market in the year 2017, while Europe attributes close to 59.31% of the world production, North America close to 28.97%, China 6.21%, and Japan 5.52%. Optical equipment accounts for 47.59% of all nanoimprint lithography system consumption, compared to 40.69% for consumer electronics.