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Polymers 2017, 9(10), 525; doi:10.3390/polym9100525

Perpendicular Structure Formation of Block Copolymer Thin Films during Thermal Solvent Vapor Annealing: Solvent and Thickness Effects

Macromolecular Chemistry & New Polymeric Materials, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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Solvent vapor annealing of block copolymer (BCP) thin films can produce a range of interesting morphologies, especially when the perpendicular orientation of micro-domains with respect to the substrate plays a role. This, for instance, allows BCP thin films to serve as useful templates for nanolithography and hybrid materials preparation. However, precise control of the arising morphologies is essential, but in most cases difficult to achieve. In this work, we investigated the solvent and thickness effects on the morphology of poly(styrene-b-2 vinyl pyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) thin films with a film thickness range from 0.4 L0 up to 0.8 L0. Ordered perpendicular structures were achieved. One of the main merits of our work is that the phase behavior of the ultra-high molecular weight BCP thin films, which hold a 100-nm sized domain distance, can be easily monitored via current available techniques, such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), atomic force microscope (AFM), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Systematic monitoring of the self-assembly behavior during solvent vapor annealing can thus provide an experimental guideline for the optimization of processing conditions of related BCP films systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; thin films; annealing; selectivity; lamellar block copolymers; thin films; annealing; selectivity; lamellar

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yang, Q.; Loos, K. Perpendicular Structure Formation of Block Copolymer Thin Films during Thermal Solvent Vapor Annealing: Solvent and Thickness Effects. Polymers 2017, 9, 525.

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