Amphiphilic diblock copolymer-mediated structure control in nanoporous germanium-based thin films†
Fabrication of porous, foam-like germanium-based (Ge-based) nanostructures is achieved with the use of the amphiphilic diblock copolymer polystyrene-b-polyethylene oxide as structure directing agent. Basic concepts of block copolymer assisted sol–gel synthesis are successfully realized based on the [Ge9]4− Zintl clusters as a precursor for Ge-based thin films. Material/elemental composition and crystalline Ge-based phases are investigated via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements, respectively. Poor-good solvent pair induced phase separation leads to pore sizes in the Ge-based films up to 40 nm, which can be tuned through a change of the molar mixing ratio between polymer template and precursor as proven by grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering and scanning electron microscopy.