The homogenous and isotropic structure of BMGs, the high strength and toughness, together with their low flow stresses, which enables to mold them like plastics, are desirable attributes of a material used in nano fabrication. To date, we can precisely imprint features as small as 10 nm with aspect ratio up to 50 on a BMG. The ability to precisely fabricate BMGs on such small scales allows to study size effects on deformation, strength, and thermophysical properties. Here the sample dimensions approaching the envisioned intrinsic length scale of metallic glasses, so called shear transformation zones. Beyond its scientific importance, nanoimprinting of BMGs has significant technological ramifications. In nano imprinting processes, BMGs can be used for both imprint template and imprint medium. Templates for nanoimprint lithography (NIL) with superior properties over currently used materials can be produced by directly imprinting onto the bulk metallic glass. The ability to fabricate large surface area nano architectures in an economic and scaleable manner, together with the “right” chemical composition of some BMGs make this technology ideal for electrochemical catalysts, particularly for fuel cells.
Thermoplastic based nanoimprinting of metallic glasses demonstrated by filling anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) of various cavity dimensions with Pt57.5Cu14.7Ni5.3P22.5 under a pressure of ~100MPa at 280°C. Filling depth can be controlled by time, pressure, and temperature. Features as small as 13 nm (the smallest features in the AAO) can be fabricated.