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With the aim of investigating fundamental properties and nano-imprintabilities of glassy alloy in the film form, Zr49Al11Ni8Cu32, Pd39Cu29Ni13P19 and Cu38Zr47Al9Ag6 alloy thin films were fabricated on Si substrate by a magnetron sputtering method. These thin films exhibit distinct glass-tradition phenomenon and large supercooled liquid region of about 80 K, confirming as a glassy structure and have very smooth surface and sufficient hardness to maintain imprinted shape, which are suitable for nano-imprint processing. Moreover, thermal nano-imprintabilies of these obtained films are demonstrated by using a dot array mold with a dot diameter of 90 nm and a pitch of 180 nm. Surface observations revealed that periodic nano-hole arrays were successfully imprinted on the surface of these films and precisely corresponded to the periodic dot pattern of the mold. Particularly, Pd-based glassy alloy thin film indicated more precise pattern imprintability, namely, more flat residual surface plane and sharper hole edge. These results suggest that these glassy alloy thin films, especially Pd-based glassy alloy thin film have high potential for application to the nano-imprinting materials.
Present progress in developments of glassy alloy composites for bit-patterned-media and non-equilibrium Cu-based alloys for conductive materials of electrical connectors are reviewed. It is proven that the imprinting of the Pd-based glassy alloy thin film is favorable for the formation of nano-structured devices. Detailed imprinted morphologies formed by different imprinting conditions were examined. In addition, technology of large area imprinting up to 2.5 inches area has been successfully developed and it is now available for production. These technological developments will be utilized for next generation bit-patterned-media with high data density. A newly developed non-equilibrium Cu-Zr-Ag alloy was prepared into sheet form by the combination of casting, cold rolling and annealing. The alloy sheet exhibited high tensile strength of exceeding 1500 MPa and good electrical conductivity of 30% IACS. However, bending ductility should be improved for the actual production of connector. Through the several examinations, remaining issues that should be solved are discussed in the framework of industrialization and commercialization. These obtained results suggest that the glassy alloy composite or non-equilibrium alloy designed by the glass-forming rules have a great potential to develop innovative products in the near future.
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