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Patterning of Nanostructures by Block Copolymer Self-Assembly Open Access


Other title
Integrated circuits -- Materials
Block copolymers
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zhang, Xiaojiang
Supervisor and department
Buriak, Jillian (Chemistry)
Examining committee member and department
Brown, Alexander (Chemistry)
Birss, Viola (Chemistry, University of Calgary)
Meldrum, Al (Physics)
Bergens, Steven (Chemistry)
Veinot, Jonathan (Chemistry)
Department of Chemistry

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Fabrication of nanofeatures with precisely defined size and ordering is essential for a broad range of technologically important applications, including integrated circuit production. Self-organizing block copolymers are capable of patterning substrates with nanoscale precision. This thesis describes patterning of nanostructures by block copolymer self-assembly. Rapid block copolymer self-assembly was realized with an innovative microwave-based method that used a scientific microwave reactor to anneal block copolymer films inside a sealed container in the presence of an appropriate solvent. Simple transformation of the as-annealed poly(styrene)-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) block copolymer films into metallic nanostructures led to better visualization of the self-assembled pattern in SEM. A study was made of a number of different parameters affecting the polymer assembly speed and the pattern defect density, such as solvent, annealing time, annealing temperature, and substrate resistivity. The approach was also applied to the commonly used poly(styrene)-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) block copolymers. Highly ordered linear patterns were obtained both on un-prepatterned substrates and e-beam lithography defined substrates in less than 3 minutes. On adapting the microwave annealing technique to a conventional household microwave oven, highly ordered linear structures of self-assembled BCPs were obtained in 60 seconds. Using binary PS-b-P2VP block copolymer blends, linear feature spacing was readily controlled with nanometer scale precision. To show the high level of control over feature spacing, 12 to 19 metallic nanolines were fabricated between 500-nm-wide topographic wall-like silica features on a silicon surfaces with an annealing time of less than 2 minutes. In addition, PS-b-P2VP/PS-b-P4VP binary blends were used to produce hybrid dot and line nanostructures. Although this study is still in an early stage, the concept of using self-assembled PS-b-P2VP/PS-b-P4VP mixture to template hybrid metallic nanostructures was successfully demonstrated. PS-b-P4VP block copolymer films were employed as templates to pattern silicon surfaces with pseudo-hexagonal arrays of nanoscale etched pits, using a simple etching in HF(aq). The etched pit interiors were terminated by Si-Hx while the top unetched silicon surface remains capped by the native silicon oxide. The potential utility of this interface was demonstrated by selective patterning of a nanostructured metal oxide and metal features within these pits on the silicon top face.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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