Polymer nanoimprinting using an anodized aluminum mold for structural coloration

Tatsuya Kikuchi, Osamu Nishinaga, Shungo Natsui, Ryosuke O. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer nanoimprinting of submicrometer-scale dimple arrays with structural coloration was demonstrated. Highly ordered aluminum dimple arrays measuring 530-670 nm in diameter were formed on an aluminum substrate via etidronic acid anodizing at 210-270 V and subsequent anodic oxide dissolution. The nanostructured aluminum surface led to bright structural coloration with a rainbow spectrum, and the reflected wavelength strongly depends on the angle of the specimen and the period of the dimple array. The reflection peak shifts gradually with the dimple diameter toward longer wavelength, reaching 800 nm in wavelength at 670 nm in diameter. The shape of the aluminum dimple arrays were successfully transferred to a mercapto-ester ultra-violet curable polymer via self-assembled monolayer coating and polymer replications using a nanoimprinting technique. The nanostructured polymer surfaces with positively and negatively shaped dimple arrays also exhibited structural coloration based on the periodic nanostructure, and reflected light mostly in the visible region, 400-800 nm. This nanostructuring with structural coloration can be easily realized by simple techniques such as anodizing, SAM coating, and nanoimprinting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 30


  • Anodic porous alumina
  • Anodizing
  • Etidronic acid
  • Nanoimprinting
  • Structural coloration


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