Abstract A new technique called “infrared laser-assisted nanoimprint lithography” was utilised to soften the thermoplastic polymer material mR-I 8020 during nanoimprint lithography. A laser setup and a sample holder with pressure and temperature control were designed for the imprint experiments. The polymer was spin coated onto crystalline Si <1 1 1> substrates. A prepatterned Si <1 1 1> substrate, which is transparent for the CO 2 laser irradiation, was used as an imprint stamp as well. It was shown, that the thermoplastic resist mR-I 8020 could be successfully imprinted using the infrared CW CO 2 laser irradiation ( λ = 10.6 μm). The etching rate of the CO 2 laser beam irradiated mR-I 8020 resist film under O 2 RF (13.56 MHz) plasma treatment and during O 2 reactive ion beam etching was investigated as well.