Block Copolymers — Materials and Processing

We use Si-containing block copolymers such as polystyrene-block-poly(dimethylsiloxane) with high interaction parameter, etch resistance and etch selectivity in order to generate features with sub-10 nm sizes. Films of these materials are coated on substrates, and then annealed using a solvent vapor or by heating to produce well-ordered patterns. In order to facilitate the self-assembly and produce morphologies with excellent ordering and registration, solvent vapor annealing is studied in situ by Grazing Incidence Small Angle X-ray Scattering (GISAXS) to analyze the microdomain orientation evolution and structure deformation. The final kinetically trapped self-assembled nanostructure is analyzed by TEM tomography. Thermal cycling, topcoat layers, indentation and UV-curing methods are used to have better control of the self-assembled nanostructure. An electric field is also used to align the microdomains during solvent vapor annealing.


Solvent annealing of a block copolymer produces a range of morphologies.