The development of methods that permit control over the long-range order and orientation of microdomains in block copolymer (BCP) thin films for bottom-up approaches to nanoscale surface patterning is of great interest for many applications, including microelectronics and data storage devices. One such method recently reported is a type of zone refinement called cold zone annealing (CZA), in which the BCP film is passed across a thermal gradient, was shown to result in long-range orientational order. CZA is a versatile technique that can be combined with other approaches, such as chemical or topographic substrate patterning. Here, we utilize a combination of Rotational Small Angle Neutron Scattering (R-SANS) and specular neutron reflectivity (SNR) to investigate the mechanism and driving forces behind CZA. These unique techniques are used to characterize the 3-dimensional structural properties of zone annealed BCP films, revealing the previously unreported role of thermal gradients in controlling the kinetics and orientation of block copolymer films.
Proceedings Title: 238th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Fall 2009, Division of Polymer Materials: Science & Engineering
Conference Dates: August 16-20, 2009
Conference Location: Washington, DC
Conference Title: 238th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Fall 2009
Pub Type: Conferences
block copolymer lithography, polymer thin films, neutron scattering, data storage, microelectronics, nanotechnology