Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Additive Route to Lithographically Defined Nanoporous Silica, Polymer, and Carbon Films

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Publication Date

Fall 2008


A facile method was investigated for patterning microporous and mesoporous silica, polymer, and carbon films using a combination of lithography and solid-state chemistry. This process exploits the difference in chemical reactivity between the lithographically exposed and unexposed regions to control the reaction of a target precursor from the vapor phase. A block copolymer film loaded with a photoacid generator is utilized as a preformed template, and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and furfuryl alcohol (FA) are the silica and carbon precursors, respectively. Following UV exposure and reaction with vaporized precursors, thermal decomposition of the polymeric template yields a mesoporous film in the exposed regions. Dense line−space patterns down to 1.5 μm features were resolved with I-line lithography. Sharper features were formed using FA; this behavior is attributed to the requirement for water in the system during TEOS condensation. Moisture in the system appears to lead to enhanced diffusion of the photoacid and a small decrease in the feature resolution. This methodology provides a simple etch-free route to patterning mesoporous films using commercially available materials.



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