Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Control over Self-Assembly of Diblock Copolymers on Hexagonal and Square Templates for High Area Density Circuit Boards

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Publication Date

Fall 10-30-2011


Self-assembled diblock copolymer melts on patterned substrates can induce a smaller characteristic domain spacing compared to predefined lithographic patterns and enable the manufacture of circuit boards with a high area density of computing and storage units. Monte Carlo simulation using coarse-grain models of polystyrene-b-polydimethylsiloxane shows that the generation of high-density hexagonal and square patterns is controlled by the ratio ND of the surface area per post and the surface area per spherical domain of neat block copolymer. ND represents the preferred number of block copolymer domains per post. Selected integer numbers support the formation of ordered structures on hexagonal (1, 3, 4, 7, 9) and square (1, 2, 5, 7) templates. On square templates, only smaller numbers of block copolymer domains per post support the formation of ordered arrays with significant stabilization energies relative to hexagonal morphology. Deviation from suitable integer numbers ND increases the likelihood of transitional morphologies between square and hexagonal. Upon increasing the spacing of posts on the substrate, square arrays, nested square arrays, and disordered hexagonal morphologies with multiple coordination numbers were identified, accompanied by a decrease in stabilization energy. Control over the main design parameter ND may allow an up to 7-fold increase in density of spherical block copolymer domains per surface area in comparison to the density of square posts and provide access to a wide range of high-density nanostructures to pattern electronic devices.

Publication Title

ACS Publications





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