The morphology of ordered block copolymer patterns as probed by high resolution imaging

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Borah, Dipu
Ghoshal, Tandra
Shaw, Matthew T.
Chaudhari, Atul
Petkov, Nikolay
Bell, A. P.
Holmes, Justin D.
Morris, Michael A.
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The microphase separation of block copolymer (BCP) thin films can afford a simple and cost-effective means to studying nanopattern surfaces, and especially the fabrication of nanocircuitry. However, because of complex interface effects and other complications, their 3D morphology, which is often critical for application, can be more complex than first thought. Here, we describe how emerging microscopic methods may be used to study complex BCP patterns and reveal their rich detail. These methods include helium ion microscopy (HIM) and high resolution x-section transmission electron microscopy (XTEM), and complement conventional secondary electron and atomic force microscopies (SEM and TEM). These techniques reveal that these structures are quite different to what might be expected. We illustrate the advances in the understanding of BCP thin film morphology in several systems, which result from this characterization. The systems described include symmetric, lamellar forming polystyrene-b-polymethylmethacrylate (PS-b-PMMA), cylinder forming polystyrene-b-polydimethylsiloxane (PS-b-PDMS), as well as lamellar and cylinder forming patterns of polystyrene-b-polyethylene oxide (PS-b-PEO) and polystyrene-b-poly-4-vinylpyridine (PS-b-P4VP). Each of these systems exhibits more complex arrangements than might be first thought. Finding and developing techniques whereby complex morphologies, particularly at very small dimensions, can be determined is critical to the practical use of these materials in many applications. The importance of quantifying these complex morphologies has implications for their use in integrated circuit manufacture, where they are being explored as alternative pattern forming methods to conventional UV lithography.
Block copolymer , Thin films , Defects , Polystyrene-b-polymethylmethacrylate , Polystyrene-b-polyvinylypyridine , Polystyrene-b-polyethylene oxide , Polystyrene-b-polydimethyl siloxane , Electron microscopy , Helium ion microscopy
BORAH, D., GHOSHAL, T., SHAW, M. T., CHAUDHARI, A., PETKOV, N., BELL, A. P., HOLMES, J. D. & MORRIS, M. A. 2014. The Morphology of Ordered Block Copolymer Patterns as Probed by High Resolution Imaging. Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, 4. doi: 10.5772/59098