Ordering block copolymers with structured electrodes

A publication (journal article) of the University of Göttingen

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​Ordering block copolymers with structured electrodes​
Welling, U. & Müller, M.​ (2017) 
Soft Matter13(2) pp. 486​-495​.​

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Welling, Ulrich
Müller, Marcus
We study the kinetics of alignment and registration of block copolymers in an inhomogeneous electric field by computer simulations of a soft, coarse-grained model. The two blocks of the symmetric diblock copolymers are characterized by different dielectric constants. First, we demonstrate that a combination of graphoepitaxy and a homogeneous electric field extends the maximal distance between the topographical guiding patterns that result in defect-free ordering compared to graphoepitaxy alone. In a second study, the electric field in the thin block copolymer film is fabricated by spatially structured electrodes on an isolating substrate arranged in a one-dimensional periodic array; no additional topographical guiding patterns are applied. The dielectrophoretic effect induces long-range orientational order of the lamellae and, additionally, registers the lamellar structure with the electrodes due to the field inhomogeneities at the edges of the structured electrodes. Thus, orientational and translational order is established by the inhomogeneous electric field. The simulations identify a process protocol of time-dependent electric potentials that suppresses defect formation by initially forming a sandwich-like structure and subsequently reorienting these lying into standing lamellae that are registered with the structure of the electrodes. This process-directed self-assembly results in large defect-free arrays of aligned and registered lamellae using electrodes with a saw-tooth period of 4 lamellar periodicities, L0, and a spacing of 10L0.
Issue Date
Journal Article
Soft Matter 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/619793/EU/(Computational Lithography for Directed Self-Assembly: Materials, Models, and Processes/CoLiSA.MMP
1744-6848; 1744-683X



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