Orienting Silicon-Containing Block Copolymer Films with Perpendicular Cylinders via Entropy and Surface Plasma Treatment


Controlling the orientation of nanostructured block copolymer (BCP) thin films is essential for next-generation lithography. However, obtaining BCP with perpendicular orientation remains a challenge because of the surface selectivity to the different blocks. This challenge is especially severe for silicon-containing BCPs which is notorious for its high surface energy difference between constituted blocks. Here, we demonstrate a new approach to achieve perpendicular orientation with high aspect ratio using a combination of architecture effect (entropy effect) and surface air plasma treatment (enthalpy effect). Specifically, perpendicular cylinders of star-block copolymers composed of polystyrene and poly(dimethylsiloxane) blocks can be formed from the bottom substrate to the top surface of the thin film.
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