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Simulation of Defect Reduction in Block Copolymer Thin Films by Solvent Annealing

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journal contribution
posted on 20.01.2015, 00:00 by Su-Mi Hur, Gurdaman S. Khaira, Abelardo Ramírez-Hernández, Marcus Müller, Paul F. Nealey, Juan J. de Pablo
Solvent annealing provides an effective means to control the self-assembly of block copolymer (BCP) thin films. Multiple effects, including swelling, shrinkage, and morphological transitions, act in concert to yield ordered or disordered structures. The current understanding of these processes is limited; by relying on a theoretically informed coarse-grained model of block copolymers, a conceptual framework is presented that permits prediction and rationalization of experimentally observed behaviors. Through proper selection of several process conditions, it is shown that a narrow window of solvent pressures exists over which one can direct a BCP material to form well-ordered, defect-free structures.