Block copolymers are potentially useful materials for large-area 2-D patterning applications due to their spontaneous self-assembly into sub-50 nm domains. However, most thin film engineering applications require patterns of prescribed size, shape, and organization. Photopatterning is a logical choice for manipulating block copolymer features since advanced lithography tools can pattern areas as small as a single block copolymer domain. By exposing either the block copolymer or a responsive interfacial surface to patterned radiation, precise control over placement, orientation, alignment, and selective development of block copolymer domains can be achieved. This Viewpoint highlights some of the recent research in photopatterning block copolymer thin films and identifies areas of future opportunity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Nissan Chemical Industries, Lam Research, the ASTC, and the National Science Foundation (Grants EECS-1120823 and EEC-1160494) for financial support. M.J.M. thanks National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (Grant No. DGE-1110007) for financial support. C.G.W. thanks the Rashid Engineering Regents Chair and the Welch Foundation (Grant #F-1830) for partial financial support. C.J.E. thanks the Welch Foundation (Grant #F-1709) for partial financial support.