Rapid ordering of block copolymer thin films


Majewski, P.W.; Yager, K.G. "Rapid ordering of block copolymer thin films" Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 2016, 28 403002.
doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/40/403002


We review the field of block-copolymer self-assembly. In particular, we focus on the ordering kinetics of assembly in thin films, comparing different methods for controlling and accelerating the ordering.


Block-copolymers self-assemble into diverse morphologies, where nanoscale order can be finely tuned via block architecture and processing conditions. However, the ultimate usage of these materials in real-world applications may be hampered by the extremely long thermal annealing times—hours or days—required to achieve good order. Here, we provide an overview of the fundamentals of block-copolymer self-assembly kinetics, and review the techniques that have been demonstrated to influence, and enhance, these ordering kinetics. We discuss the inherent tradeoffs between oven annealing, solvent annealing, microwave annealing, zone annealing, and other directed self-assembly methods; including an assessment of spatial and temporal characteristics. We also review both real-space and reciprocal-space analysis techniques for quantifying order in these systems.