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Writing Highly Ordered Macroscopic Patterns in Cylindrical Block Polymer Thin Films via Raster Solvent Vapor Annealing and Soft Shear

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journal contribution
posted on 19.05.2015, 00:00 by Ming Luo, Douglas M. Scott, Thomas H. Epps
Block polymers (BPs) potentially can be used to template large arrays of nanopatterns for advanced nanotechnologies. However, the practical utilization of directed BP self-assembly typically requires guide patterns of relatively small size scales. In this work, the macroscopic alignment of block polymer cylinders on a template-free substrate is achieved through raster solvent vapor annealing combined with soft shear (RSVA-SS). Spatial control over nanoscale structures is realized by using a solvent vapor delivery nozzle, poly­(dimethylsiloxane) shearing pad, and motorized stage. Complex patterns including dashes, crossed lines, and curves are demonstrated, along with the ability for large area alignment and scale-up for industry applications. The unique ability to directly write macroscopic patterns with microscopically aligned BP nanostructures will open new avenues of applied research in nanotechnology.