Directed Self-Assembly of Polystyrene-b-poly(propylene carbonate) on Chemical Patterns via Thermal Annealing for Next Generation Lithography

Guan Wen Yang, Guang Peng Wu, Xuanxuan Chen, Shisheng Xiong, Christopher G. Arges, Shengxiang Ji, Paul F. Nealey, Xiao Bing Lu, Donald J. Darensbourg, Zhi Kang Xu

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85 Scopus citations


Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) combines advantages of conventional photolithography and polymeric materials and shows competence in semiconductors and data storage applications. Driven by the more integrated, much smaller and higher performance of the electronics, however, the industry standard polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) in DSA strategy cannot meet the rapid development of lithography technology because its intrinsic limited Flory-Huggins interaction parameter (χ). Despite hundreds of block copolymers have been developed, these BCPs systems are usually subject to a trade-off between high χ and thermal treatment, resulting in incompatibility with the current nanomanufacturing fab processes. Here we discover that polystyrene-b-poly(propylene carbonate) (PS-b-PPC) is well qualified to fill key positions on DSA strategy for the next-generation lithography. The estimated χ-value for PS-b-PPC is 0.079, that is, two times greater than PS-b-PMMA (χ = 0.029 at 150 °C), while processing the ability to form perpendicular sub-10 nm morphologies (cylinder and lamellae) via the industry preferred thermal-treatment. DSA of lamellae forming PS-b-PPC on chemoepitaxial density multiplication demonstrates successful sub-10 nm long-range order features on large-area patterning for nanofabrication. Pattern transfer to the silicon substrate through industrial sequential infiltration synthesis is also implemented successfully. Compared with the previously reported methods to orientation control BCPs with high χ-value (including solvent annealing, neutral top-coats, and chemical modification), the easy preparation, high χ value, and etch selectivity while enduring thermal treatment demonstrates PS-b-PPC as a rare and valuable candidate for advancing the field of nanolithography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1239
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 8 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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