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Title: Thickness-dependence of block copolymer coarsening kinetics

In spite of active research, many fundamental aspects of block copolymer ordering remain unresolved. We studied the thickness-dependence of block copolymer grain coarsening kinetics, and find that thinner films order more rapidly than thicker films. Bilayer films, or monolayers with partial layers of islands, order more slowly than monolayers because of the greater amount of material that must rearrange in a coordinated fashion. Sub-monolayer films order much more rapidly than monolayers, exhibiting considerably smaller activation energies, as well as larger exponents for the time-growth power-law. Furthermore, by using molecular dynamics simulations, we directly study the motion of defects in these film regimes. Here, we attribute the enhanced grain growth in sub-monolayers to the film boundaries, where defects can be spontaneously eliminated. The boundaries thus act as efficient sinks for morphological defects, pointing towards methods for engineering rapid ordering of self-assembling thin films.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials
  2. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Silver Spring, MD (United States). Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
BNL-114045-2017-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 1744-683X; SMOABF; KC0403020
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Soft Matter
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 1744-683X
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; block copolymer; Center for Functional Nanomaterials
OSTI Identifier:
1372447