Development and Application of Hot Embossing in Polymer Processing: A Review

Jingyao Sun 1

Jian Zhuang 1

Ying Liu 2

Hong Xu 1

Jesse Horne 3

Evan K. Wujcik 3

Haichao Liu 4

Jong E. Ryu 5

Daming Wu 1, 2, Email

Zhanhu Guo 6, Email

1 College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Organic-Inorganic Composites, Beijing, 100029, China

3 Materials Engineering And Nanosensor [MEAN] Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

4 Academic Division of Engineering, Qingdao University of Science & Technology, Qingdao 266061, China

5 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

6 Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL), Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA


Hot embossing of polymer materials is a promising technology for the fabrication of high quality and precision patterns on the micro/nano-scales. There are three basic forms of hot embossing including, plate-to-plate (P2P), roll-to-plate (R2P), and roll-to-roll (R2R) hot embossing. It also can be divided into isothermal and non-isothermal hot embossing according to the different temperature control modes of polymer substrates and structured molds. This review reports recent progress made of hot embossing methods in polymer processing and the efforts to shorten its processing period for commercial applications. Research and innovations in simulation of hot embossing process and mold fabrication are also comprehensively summarized. Within this review, microfluidics, light guide plate (LGP), and other novel applications of hot embossing are systematically cataloged. Finally, challenges and future trends of hot embossing in polymer processing are presented and forecasted.

Development and Application of Hot Embossing in Polymer Processing: A Review