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Open AccessArticle

Characterisation of the PS-PMMA Interfaces in Microphase Separated Block Copolymer Thin Films by Analytical (S)TEM

1
‘Nanostructuring, Nanoanalysis and Photonic Materials’ Group, Department of Physics, Paderborn University, 33098 Paderborn, Germany
2
Institute of Lightweight Design with Hybrid Materials (ILH), 33098 Paderborn, Germany
3
Center for Optoelectronics and Photonics Paderborn (CeOPP), 33098 Paderborn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010141
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly is a promising tool for next generation lithography as microphase separated polymer domains in thin films can act as templates for surface nanopatterning with sub-20 nm features. The replicated patterns can, however, only be as precise as their templates. Thus, the investigation of the morphology of polymer domains is of great importance. Commonly used analytical techniques (neutron scattering, scanning force microscopy) either lack spatial information or nanoscale resolution. Using advanced analytical (scanning) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM), we provide real space information on polymer domain morphology and interfaces between polystyrene (PS) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in cylinder- and lamellae-forming BCPs at highest resolution. This allows us to correlate the internal structure of polymer domains with line edge roughnesses, interface widths and domain sizes. STEM is employed for high-resolution imaging, electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy filtered TEM (EFTEM) spectroscopic imaging for material identification and EFTEM thickness mapping for visualisation of material densities at defects. The volume fraction of non-phase separated polymer species can be analysed by EFTEM. These methods give new insights into the morphology of polymer domains the exact knowledge of which will allow to improve pattern quality for nanolithography. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; self-assembly; polymer interface; nanostructure metrology; line edge roughness LER; (S)TEM; STEM-EELS of PS and PMMA block copolymers; self-assembly; polymer interface; nanostructure metrology; line edge roughness LER; (S)TEM; STEM-EELS of PS and PMMA
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bürger, J.; Kunnathully, V.S.; Kool, D.; Lindner, J.K.N.; Brassat, K. Characterisation of the PS-PMMA Interfaces in Microphase Separated Block Copolymer Thin Films by Analytical (S)TEM. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 141.

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