The scale-up of microcontact printing (μCP) to a roll-to-roll technique for large-scale surface patterning requires scalable tooling for continuous pattern printing with μm-scale features (e.g., 1–50 μm). Here, we examine the process of creating such a tool using an optical direct-write or “maskless” method working on a rotating cylindrical substrate. A predictive model of pattern formation is presented along with experimental results to examine the key control factors for this process. It is shown that factors can be modulated to vary the cross-sectional shape in addition to feature height and width. This feature can then be exploited to improve the robustness of the final printing process.

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