High speed roll-to-roll manufacturing of biomimetic surfaces and microfluidic devices
Roll-to-roll extrusion coating (R2R-EC) is a new method of R2R imprint, that allows fast and reliable replication of micro- and nanopatterns onto thermoplastic polymer films. This technique allows replication of patterns between 100 nm and 100 µm at a production speed of 60 m/min using a pilot facility. The production facilities can have a capacity for up to 1000 m/min line speed and might allow replication of larger structures due to higher polymer extrusion rate. This technique uses the common thermoplastic materials, such as polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene, which are common in packaging and biomedical equipment. Within the past 3 years several functional surfaces produced using R2R-EC have been demonstrated in scientific publications, such as plasmonic colors (DOI: 10.1039/c7nr05498j), anti-reflective (DOI: 10.1002/mame.201700027) structures, superhydrophobic surfaces (DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.6b00550, DOI: 10.3390/nano8100831), and other patterns on the micro- and nanoscale. At our test facility the produced pattern can cover a width of 0.5 m and length of hundreds of meters of the repetitive pattern (with seamlines). The functional films have a potential for in/outdoor use for e.g. anti-icing, anti-bacterial or self-cleaning purposes, as well as for more sustainable packaging solutions. The recent developments opened up an opportunity for lab-on-a-chip applications, as replication of microfluidic devices has been successfully demonstrated for this method. With endless possibilities, all the potential applications of this process have not been yet discovered.
Senior R&D engineer at Inmold A/S and Technical Director at illumifilm ApS with a strong background in micro- and nanoimprint.
Nastasia has a degree in Nanoscience from University of Copenhagen and has spent the past few years working on the roll-to-roll extrusion coating platform. Nastasia wrote her PhD thesis titled “Industrial-scale pattern transfer using roll-to-roll extrusion coating: understanding the process and exploring its applications” in a collaborative project between Danapak Flexibles A/S and Technical University of Denmark.
Now she works in a shared position as senior R&D engineer at Inmold A/S, a company that specializes in micro- and nano-imprint and a technical director in a start-up company illumifilm ApS, that specializes in optical functional foils.
Nastasia Okulovaa,b,e, Suhith Hemanthe, Swathi Murthye, Martin Smolkac, Anja Haasec, Ladislav Kunac, Mirko Lohsed, Manuel Thesend, Rafael Taboryskib, Peter Johansena, Lars Christensena, Guggi Kofode, Jan Kafkae
a Danapak Flexibles A/S, Strudsbergsvej 3, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark
b DTU Nanotech, Ørsteds Plads, building 345C, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
c JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics, 8160 Weiz, Austria
d micro resist technology GmbH, 12555 Berlin, Germany
e Inmold A/S, Savsvinget 4B, DK-2970 Hørsholm, Denmark