Scatterometry for in-line optimization of polymer injection moulding

Deterministic nanostructures help to ensure that surfaces have the desired optical, mechanical or bio-interface properties. Nanoimprinting methods – adapting polymer injection moulding or roll-to-roll embossing – enable low-cost addition of nanostructures to products and are a key focus of the MetHPM project.

A portable spectroscopic scatterometer for characterization of nanostructured surfaces was constructed at consortium partner DFM, the Danish National Metrology Institute in MetHPM and the Eurostars project E9745- SuperLens. This scatterometer was tested at an injection moulding production line at DTU Danchip, Lyngby, Denmark using a nanostructured shim fabricated by industrial consortium partner NIL Technology, at Lyngby, Denmark. The scatterometer enabled real time feedback on the moulding quality of injection moulded polymer structures. This can potentially increase the speed and efficiency of injection moulding production by providing in-line optimization of the moulding parameters and reducing scrap rates.

Injection moulding is used to create polymer items with imprinted nanostructures…

…such as regular gratings for optical effects created using technology from NIL Technology.

DFM has produced a portable spectroscopic scatterometer for characterization of nanostructured surfaces…

…and used it in field trials to demonstrate real time process feedback for moulding quality.




  • Madsen MH et al. 2016 Alignment free characterization of 2D gratings Applied Optics 55 317-322
  • Madsen M and Hansen P, 2016, Scatterometry — fast and robust measurements of nano-textured surfaces, Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties4, 023003
  • Madsen M, Boher P, Hansen P and Jørgensen J, 2016, Alignment-free characterization of 2D gratings, Applied Optics, 55, 317
  • Madsen JS, Hansen P-E, Bilenberg B, Nygård J and Madsen MH, 2016, Measuring multiple nano-textured areas simultaneously with imaging scatterometry, Proc. euspen 16th Intl. Conf., Nottingham, UK, 30 May – 3 June
  • Jones C, Santiano M, Downes S, Bellotti R, O’Connor D and Picotto G, 2016, A universal substrate sample fixture for efficient multi-instrument inspection of large, flexible substrates, with absolute position registration support, Proc. euspen 16th Intl. Conf., Nottingham UK, 30 May – 3 June
  • Madsen MH et al. 2016 Comparison of Scatterometry, Imaging Scatterometry, AFM and Confocal Microscopy Proc. 4M/IWMF, Kgs. Lyngby, DK, 13–15 September
  • Madsen MH et al. 2016 User Friendly Scatterometry Proc. EOSAM, Berlin, DE, September
  • El Gawhary O, 2017, Helmholtz Natural Modes: the universal and discrete spatial fabric of electromagnetic wavefields, New J. Phys. (at press); DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/aa57c3
  • Kouko J et al. 2017 Measurement of Thermoplastic Properties of Packaging Materials Proc. IAPRI 28th Symposium on Packaging, Lausanne, CH, 9 – 12 May

For details of planned work, please see the Objectives page.