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Advanced Materials

Templated Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers: Top-Down Helps Bottom-Up

Authors

  • J. Y. Cheng,

    1. Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 500 Technology Square, Room 35–421, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    2. Current address: IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Rd., San Jose, CA, USA
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  • C. A. Ross,

    1. Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 500 Technology Square, Room 35–421, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • H. I. Smith,

    1. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 500 Technology Square, Room 35–421, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • E. L. Thomas

    1. Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 500 Technology Square, Room 35–421, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Our research in templating block copolymers is principally supported by the NSF-funded MRSEC at MIT. We thank Prof. Anne Mayes and Prof. Julius Vancso for their roles in our TSA studies over the years.

Abstract

One of the key challenges in nanotechnology is to control a self-assembling system to create a specific structure. Self-organizing block copolymers offer a rich variety of periodic nanoscale patterns, and researchers have succeeded in finding conditions that lead to very long range order of the domains. However, the array of microdomains typically still contains some uncontrolled defects and lacks global registration and orientation. Recent efforts in templated self-assembly of block copolymers have demonstrated a promising route to control bottom-up self-organization processes through top-down lithographic templates. The orientation and placement of block-copolymer domains can be directed by topographically or chemically patterned templates. This templated self-assembly method provides a path towards the rational design of hierarchical device structures with periodic features that cover several length scales.

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