27 March 2015 Barriers to defect melting in chemo-epitaxial directed self-assembly of lamellar-forming diblock copolymer/homopolymer blends
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Abstract
We investigate energy barriers and minimum energy paths (MEPs) for transitions from dislocation-pair defects to perfect lamellae in self-assembly of AB-diblock copolymer plus A- or B-homopolymer blends using self-consistent field theory (SCFT) and the numerical string method. For neutral substrates, all minimum energy paths discovered by the string method show two successive energy barriers. The two-barrier qualitative nature of the MEPs appears not to depend on the presence or absence of small amounts of homopolymer. For the first energy barrier, the barrier height shows pronounced increase with addition of A-homopolymer due to localization of A-homopolymer on the T-junction core of the dislocation. For chemo-epitaxially patterned substrates (stripes of A-attractive substrate alternating with neutral substrate), the presence of A-attractive stripes helps draw the system towards a perfect lamellar configuration, and energy barriers along the MEP are reduced, in some cases disappearing entirely. Our findings provide guidance on how the presence of homopolymer and chemo-epitaxial prepatterns affect the stability of defective morphologies.
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Kenichi Izumi, Bongkeun Kim, Nabil Laachi, Kris T. Delaney, Michael Carilli, Glenn H. Fredrickson, "Barriers to defect melting in chemo-epitaxial directed self-assembly of lamellar-forming diblock copolymer/homopolymer blends", Proc. SPIE 9423, Alternative Lithographic Technologies VII, 94232C (27 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085685; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2085685
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