Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) is one of the most promising techniques to tackle the ever-increasing demand for sublithographic features in semiconductor industries. BCPs with high Flory–Huggins parameter (χ) are of particular interest due to their ability to self-assemble at the length scale of sub-10 nm. However, such high-χ BCPs typically have imbalanced surface energies between respective blocks, making it a challenge to achieve desired perpendicular orientation. To address this challenge, we mixed a fluorine-containing polymeric additive with poly(2-vinylpyridine)-block-polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P2VP-b-PS-b-P2VP) and successfully controlled the orientation of the high-χ triblock copolymer. The additive selectively mixes with P2VP block through hydrogen bonding and can reduce the dissimilarity of surface energies between PS and P2VP blocks. After optimizing additive dose and annealing conditions, desired perpendicular orientation formed upon simple thermal annealing. We further demonstrated DSA of this material system with five times density multiplication and a half-pitch as small as 8.5 nm. This material system is also amenable to sequential infiltration synthesis treatment to selectively grow metal oxide in P2VP domains, which can facilitate the subsequent pattern transfer. We believe that this integration-friendly DSA platform using simple thermal annealing holds the great potential for sub-10 nm nanopatterning applications.
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