Characterizing the Interface Scaling of High χ Block Copolymers near the Order-Disorder Transition

Daniel F. Sunday, Michael J. Maher, Adam F. Hannon, Christopher D. Liman, Summer Tein, Gregory Blachut, Yusuke Asano, Christopher J. Ellison, C. Grant Willson, R. Joseph Kline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Advancements in the directed self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) have prompted the development of new materials with larger effective interaction parameters (χe). This enables BCP systems with phase separation at increasingly small degrees of polymerization (N). Very often these systems reside near the order-disorder transition and fit between the weak and strong segregation limits where the behavior of BCP systems is not as thoroughly understood. Utilizing resonant soft X-ray reflectivity (RSoXR) enables both the BCP pitch (L0) and interface width (wM) to be determined simultaneously, through a direct characterization of the composition profile of BCP lamellae oriented parallel to a substrate. A series of high χe BCPs with χe ranging from ≈0.04 to 0.25 and χeN from 19 to 70 have been investigated. The L0/wm ratio serves as an important metric for the feasibility of a material for nanopatterning applications; the results of the RSoXR measurement are used to establish a relationship between χe and L0/wm. The results of this analysis are correlated with experimentally established limits for the functionality of BCPs in nanopatterning applications. These results also provide guidance for the magnitude of χe needed to achieve small interface width for samples with sub-10 nm L0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 9 2018

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© 2017 American Chemical Society.


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