Block copolymer lithography & Directed assembly

We investigate fundamental aspects of block copolymer self-assembly in thin films, develop processes for directing the self-assembly of polymer nanostructures with long-range order and user-defined geometries, and apply such self-assembled materials for lithography and nanofabrication.

 

Polymer synthesis

Macromolecular materials are synthesized for use in self-assembly and surface modifications, primarily via techniques such as free-radical and atom transfer radical  (ATRP) polymerization.  Frequently we utilize copolymers (random or block) of model systems including styrene, methyl methacrylate, and vinyl alcohol.

Nanocomposites of polymers and particles

We investigate the phase separation, dispersion, and aggregation behavior of crystalline nanoparticles in microstructured polymer systems.  Our work aims to direct the assembly of nanoscrystals into well-defined 3D structures and large-scale arrays.  We also investigate processes for integrating these nanocrystals arrays into functional devices for electronics and photovoltaics.

 

Polymer-polymer interfaces

Polymer-polymer interfaces are often generated spontaneously through phase separation processes in copolymers or polymer blends, and dominate the structural, mechanical, optical, and transport properties of such systems.  These interfaces are relatively soft/flexible and therefore their shape is influenced by the interface bending rigidity (a function of the Flory-Huggins parameter), capillary waves, and thermal fluctuations.  We study, using experiments and simulations, the interfaces between lamellar block copolymer domains focusing upon their impact as line edge roughness in the resulting nanopatterns.

 

Funding Sources:

 

 

 

Research

Text Box: Stoykovich Research Group:  Self-assembly and nanofabrication laboratory