Forming nano-/micro-scale surface patterns on metal surfaces by direct compression molding is an important means for achieving small scale surface features with potential usage in wide ranging technological applications. Geometric fidelity of molded features and the corresponding molding response are of critical importance in determining the usefulness of the molding replication technique. In this paper, two series of microscale punches made of tool steels were fabricated using Ga+ focused ion beam (FIB). In one series, the punch consists of a single protruding rectangular strip of different width, w (dubbed the “single punch”). In the other series, the punch consists of two rectangular strips of identical dimensions separated by a spacing in between, s (dubbed the “double punch”). These so-fabricated punches were used to mold elemental single crystal Al. The mechanical response during compression molding was measured and analyzed. For the double-punch experiments, measured characteristic molding pressure exhibited a significant dependence on the spacing to punch width ratio, λ = s/w, as well as a significant dependence on s when λ was fixed. The molded features were examined and the phenomenon of incomplete filling was observed to occur at λ < 0.5.

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