Materials and Nanoscience, Nebraska Center for (NCMN)


Date of this Version



Published by American Institute of Physics. J. Chem. Physics 125, 174707 2006. ©2006 American Institute of Physics. Permission to use.


We study the guided self-assembly of symmetric/asymmetric diblock copolymer (BCP) films on heterogeneous substrates with chemically patterned surface by using a coarse-grained phase-separation model. During the procedure, the free energy employed for the BCP films was modeled by the Ginzburg-Landau free energy with nonlocal interaction, and the flat, chemically patterned surface was considered as a heterogeneous surface with short-range interaction with the BCP molecules. The resulting Cahn-Hilliard equation was solved by means of an efficient semi-implicit Fourier-spectral algorithm. Effects of pattern scale, surface chemical potential, and BCP asymmetry on the self-assembly process were explored in detail and compared with those without chemically patterned substrate surfaces. It was found that the morphology of both symmetric and asymmetric BCP films is strongly influenced by the commensurability between the unconstrained natural period λ* of the bulk BCP and the artificial pattern period. Simulation shows that patterned surface with period close to λ* leads to highly ordered morphology after self-assembly for both symmetric and asymmetric BCP films, and it also dramatically accelerates the guided self-assembly process. The present simulation is in a very good agreement with the recent experimental observation in BCP nanolithography. Finally, the present study also expects an innovative nanomanufacturing method to produce highly ordered nanodots based on the guided self-assembly of asymmetric BCP films on chemically patterned substrates.