Poly(styrene)-block-poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PS-b-PDMS) is an excellent block copolymer (BCP) system for self-assembly and inorganic template fabrication because of its high Flory-Huggins parameter (χ ∼ 0.26) at room temperature in comparison to other BCPs, and high selective etch contrast between PS and PDMS block for nanopatterning. In this work, self-assembly in PS-b-PDMS BCP is achieved by combining hydroxyl-terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS-OH) brush surfaces with solvent vapor annealing. As an alternative to standard brush chemistry, we report a simple method based on the use of surfaces functionalized with silane-based self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). A solution-based approach to SAM formation was adopted in this investigation. The influence of the SAM-modified surfaces upon BCP films was compared with polymer brush-based surfaces. The cylinder forming PS-b-PDMS BCP and PDMS-OH polymer brush were synthesized by sequential living anionic polymerization. It was observed that silane SAMs provided the appropriate surface chemistry which, when combined with solvent annealing, led to microphase segregation in the BCP. It was also demonstrated that orientation of the PDMS cylinders may be controlled by judicious choice of the appropriate silane. The PDMS patterns were successfully used as an on-chip etch mask to transfer the BCP pattern to underlying silicon substrate with sub-25 nm silicon nanoscale features. This alternative SAM/BCP approach to nanopattern formation shows promising results, pertinent in the field of nanotechnology, and with much potential for application, such as in the fabrication of nanoimprint lithography stamps, nanofluidic devices or in narrow and multilevel interconnected lines.
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