Discrete dislocation simulations of the flattening of nanoimprinted surfaces

Yunhe Zhang*, Erik Van der Giessen, Lucia Nicola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Simulations of rough surface flattening are performed on thin metal films whose roughness is created by nanoimprinting flat single crystals. The imprinting is carried out by means of a rigid template with equal flat contacts at varying spacing. The imprinted surfaces are subsequently flattened by a rigid platen, while the change of roughness and surface profile is computed. Attention is focused mainly on comparing the response of the film surfaces with those of identical films cleared of the dislocations and residual stresses left by the imprinting process. The aim of these studies is to understand to what extent the loading history affects deformation and roughness during flattening. The limiting cases of sticking and frictionless contact between rough surface and platen are analyzed. Results show that when the asperities are flattened such that the contact area is up to about one third of the surface area, the loading history strongly affects the flattening. Specifically, the presence of initial dislocations facilitates the squeezing of asperities independently of the friction conditions of the contact. For larger contact areas, the initial conditions affect only sticking contacts, while frictionless contacts lead to a homogeneous flattening of the asperities due to yield of the metal film. In all cases studied the final surface profile obtained after flattening has little to no resemblance to the original imprinted surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034006
Pages (from-to)034006-1-034006-17
Number of pages17
JournalModelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2010



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