Role of Penetrability into a Brush-Coated Surface in Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers

Laura Evangelio, Marta Fernández-Regúlez, Jordi Fraxedas, Marcus Müller, Francesc Pérez-Murano

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018 American Chemical Society. High-density and high-resolution line and space patterns on surfaces are obtained by directed self-assembly of lamella-forming block copolymers (BCPs) using wide-stripe chemical guiding patterns. When the width of the chemical pattern is larger than the half-pitch of the BCP, the interaction energy between each BCP domain and the surface is crucial to obtain the desired segregated film morphology. We investigate how the intermixing between BCPs and polymer brush molecules on the surface influences the optimal surface and interface free energies to obtain a proper BCP alignment. We have found that computational models successfully predict the experimentally obtained guided patterns if the penetrability of the brush layer is taken into account instead of a hard, impenetrable surface. Experiments on directed self-assembly of lamella-forming poly(styrene-block-methyl methacrylate) using chemical guiding patterns corroborate the models used in the simulations, where the values of the surface free energy between the BCP and the guiding and background stripes are accurately determined using an experimental method based on the characterization of contact angles in droplets formed after dewetting of homopolymer blends.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3571-3581
    JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


    • block copolymer
    • chemical epitaxy
    • directed self-assembly
    • interface energy
    • wide stripes


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