Photothermally directed assembly of block copolymers


Nowak, S.R.; Yager, K.G. "Photothermally directed assembly of block copolymers" Advanced Materials Interfaces 2019, 1901679.
doi: 10.1002/admi.201901679


We review the use of photo-thermal methods to direct ordering in block copolymer thin films.


Block copolymers self-assemble into nanoscale morphologies, spontaneously ordering under thermal annealing conditions owing to the chemical incompatibility between the blocks. While the morphologies that form can be rationalized based on equilibrium arguments, the structures seen experimentally are strongly influenced by kinetic effects including process history. Recently, a variety of photothermal processing techniques have been used to control block copolymer ordering. Photothermal methods provide access to extreme conditions, including high temperatures, large heating rates, and sharp thermal gradients. This can correspondingly be used to greatly accelerate block copolymer ordering kinetics, to pattern material order, or to probe fundamental aspects of self-assembly by exploring process histories.