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Designing an Ordered Template of Cylindrical Arrays based on a Simple Flat Plate Confinement of Block Copolymers: A Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Study

Abstract

In this paper we study the morphology formed by asymmetric di-block copolymers (di-BCPs) under various confinements using a large-scale coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) framework. We start with a simple flat plate confinement with the bottom and top substrate attractive to the minor phase. Studies at a lower confinement length of 17σ have shown that there exist a critical chain length above which a transition from a three-domain morphology to a two-domain morphology is observed. Increasing the confinement length to 42σ, where the chains experience considerably lower confinement effects also revealed the existence of a critical chain length - a transition from multi-domain morphology (> 3) to a three-domain morphology. The results obtained in the flat plate study with two confinement dimensions were used to design a topography of silica pillars with and without a bottom substrate to form ordered cylindrical BCP arrays. The least and highest radial separation between adjacent pillars are kept at 17σ and 42σ respectively. A direct correlation was observed in the number of continuous micro-domains of the maximum and minimum confinement dimensions with the 17σ and 42 σ flat plate trials. With the optimum chain length employed, the surfaces with affinity to the minor phase can direct the BCP self-assembly to form ordered arrays of minor phase cylinders. The current study thus elucidates a useful tool to predict the morphology formed in an intricate nano-lithographic template by using simple length scale arguments derived from a flat plate confinement study.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Oct 2017, accepted on 26 Nov 2017 and first published on 27 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02015E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Designing an Ordered Template of Cylindrical Arrays based on a Simple Flat Plate Confinement of Block Copolymers: A Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Study

    S. Pinge, G. Lin, M. Padmanaban, D. Baskaran and Y. L. Joo, Soft Matter, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02015E

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