Block Co-Polymers for Nanolithography: Rapid Microwave Annealing for Pattern Formation on Substrates

Dipu Borah, Sozaraj Rasappa, Ramsankar Senthamaraikannan, Justin D. Holmes, Michael A. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The integration of block copolymer (BCP) self-assembled nanopattern formation as an alternative lithographic tool for nanoelectronic device fabrication faces a number of challenges such as defect densities, feature size, pattern transfer, etc. Key barriers are the nanopattern process times and pattern formation on current substrate stack layers such as hard masks (e.g., silicon nitride, Si3N4). We report a rapid microwave assisted solvothermal (in toluene environments) self-assembly and directed self-assembly of a polystyrene-blockpolydimethylsiloxane (PS-b-PDMS) BCP thin films on planar and topographically patterned Si3N4 substrates. Hexagonally arranged, cylindrical structures were obtained and good pattern ordering was achieved. Factors affecting BCP self-assembly, notably anneal time and temperature, were studied and seen to have significant effects. Graphoepitaxy within the topographical structures provided long range, translational alignment of the patterns. The effect of surface topography feature size and spacing was investigated. The solvothermal microwave based technique used to provide periodic order in the BCP patterns showed significant promise and ordering was achieved in much shorter periods than more conventional thermal and solvent annealing methods. The implications of the work in terms of manufacturing technologies are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-609
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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