Directed self-assembly of block copolymers over chemically patterned substrates has proven to be an effective method for sublithographic patterning. Features on these chemical patterns can be multiplied by the natural domain-spacing of the block copolymer assembled on top of the substrate through pattern interpolation. The LiuNealey (LiNe) chemoepitaxy flow for directed self-assembly allows for modification of the geometry and chemistry of the nanopatterned substrate. The critical dimensions and period along with the chemical composition of the patterned features in the LiNe flow govern the equilibrium morphology of the assembled block copolymer. We demonstrate how the construction of the chemical pattern affects the selection for desired, well-registered assembly of block copolymer melts by using a theoretically informed coarse-grained many-body model of block copolymers. The molecular simulations are used to provide an explanation for how to best design the chemical pattern in the LiNe flow for the directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers to achieve desired line-andspace structures.
Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP) is attracting a growing amount of interest as a technique to expand traditional lithography beyond its current limits. It has recently been demonstrated that chemoepitaxy can be used to successfully direct BCP assembly to form large arrays of high-density features using the ‘LiNe’ flow. This process uses lithography and trim-etch to produce a “prepattern” of stripes of alternating chemical composition, which in turn guide the formation of assembled BCP structures. The entire process is predicated on the preferential interaction of the respective BCP domains with particular regions of the underlying prepattern. The natural and relative strength of these interactions are at least partially responsible for many aspects of the resulting assembled BCP film, including equilibrium morphology, type and persistence of kinetically trapped defects, and domain roughness. This study develops the understanding of how various guiding chemistries ultimately govern BCP morphology and characteristics in the LiNe flow. In particular, the work focuses on how stronger affinity between chemical patterns and the guided BCP film leads to faster assembly, lower ultimate defectivity levels, and better incommensurability tolerance, as well as the relationship between pattern strength and domain roughness. One issue in generating finely controllable chemical patterns is that all materials are affected to some degree by processing, which can modify or weaken the guiding ability of the pattern. This investigation addresses the non-idealities introduced in production processing and explores how this knowledge can be employed in improving BCP DSA for lithography.
Directed self-assembly (DDSA) of block copolymers ((BCP) is attracting a growing amount of interest as a techhnique to expand traditional lithography beyond its current limits. It has reecently been demonstrated that chemoepitaxy can be used to successfully ddirect BCP assembly to form large arrays off high-density features. The imec DSA LiNe flow uses lithography and trim-etch to produce a “prepattern” of cross-linked polystyrene (PS) stripes, which in turn guide the formation of assembled BCPP structures. Thhe entire process is predicated on the preferential interaction of the respective BCP domains with particular regionss of the underlying prepattern. The use of polystyrene as the guiding material is not uniquely required, however, and in fact may not even be preferable. This study investigates an alternate chemistry –– crosslinked poly(methyl methacrylate), X-PMMA, –– as the underlying polymer mat, providing a route to higher auto-affinity and therefore a stronger guiding ability. In addition to tthe advantages of the chemistry under investigation, this study explores the broader theme of extending BCP DSA to other materials.