Controlling order in block copolymer thin films for nanopatterning applications

Andrew P. Marencic, Richard A. Register

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


An attractive "unconventional" lithographic technique to pattern periodic, sub-100 nm features uses self-assembled block copolymer thin films as etch masks. Unfortunately, as-cast films lack the orientational and positional order of the microphase-separated domains that are necessary for many desired applications. Reviewed herein are techniques developed to guide the self-assembly process in thin films, which permit varying degrees of control over the patterns formed by the microdomains. Techniques that can control the out-of-plane order of the microdomains are first summarized. Then, techniques that control the lateral ordering are reviewed, beginning with those that generate large defect-free grains, then those that impart orientational order to the microdomains, and finally those that can control both the orientation and position of individual microdomains. Each technique is summarized with experimental examples and discussions regarding the mechanism of the guided self-assembly process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-297
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 15 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • alignment
  • orientational order
  • substrate
  • surface energy
  • topological defect
  • translational order


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