Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is viewed as an alternative nanopatterning technique to traditional photolithography, allowing micrometer-scale and sub-hundred-nanometer resolution as well as three-dimensional structure fabrication. In this Research News article we highlight current activities towards the use of NIL in patterning active or functional materials, and the application of NIL in patterning materials that present both chemistry and structure/topography in the patterned structures, which provide scaffolds for subsequent manipulation. We discuss and give examples of the various materials and chemistries that have been used to create functional patterns and their implication in various fields as electronic and magnetic devices, optically relevant structures, biologically important surfaces, and 3D particles.
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