The orientation of block copolymer (BCP) features in thin films can be obtained by spin-coating a BCP solution on a substrate surface functionalized by a polymer brush layer of the appropriate random copolymer (RCP). Although this approach is well established, little work reporting the amount and distribution of residual solvent in the polymer film after the spin-coating process is available. Moreover, no information can be found on the effect of trapped solvent on the interface between the BCP film and RCP brush. In this work, systems consisting of poly(styrene)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) thin films deposited on poly(styrene-r-methyl methacrylate) brush layers are investigated by combining neutron reflectivity (NR) experiments with simulation techniques. An increase in the amount of trapped solvent is observed by NR as the BCP film thickness increases accompanied by a significant decrease of the interpenetration length between the BCP and RCP, thus suggesting that the interpenetration between grafted chains and block copolymer chains is hampered by the solvent. Hybrid particle-field molecular dynamics simulations of the analyzed system confirm the experimental observations and demonstrate a clear correlation between the interpenetration length and the amount of trapped solvent.

Effect of Trapped Solvent on the Interface between PS-b-PMMA Thin Films and P(S-r-MMA) Brush Layers

Munao G.
Methodology
;
2020

Abstract

The orientation of block copolymer (BCP) features in thin films can be obtained by spin-coating a BCP solution on a substrate surface functionalized by a polymer brush layer of the appropriate random copolymer (RCP). Although this approach is well established, little work reporting the amount and distribution of residual solvent in the polymer film after the spin-coating process is available. Moreover, no information can be found on the effect of trapped solvent on the interface between the BCP film and RCP brush. In this work, systems consisting of poly(styrene)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) thin films deposited on poly(styrene-r-methyl methacrylate) brush layers are investigated by combining neutron reflectivity (NR) experiments with simulation techniques. An increase in the amount of trapped solvent is observed by NR as the BCP film thickness increases accompanied by a significant decrease of the interpenetration length between the BCP and RCP, thus suggesting that the interpenetration between grafted chains and block copolymer chains is hampered by the solvent. Hybrid particle-field molecular dynamics simulations of the analyzed system confirm the experimental observations and demonstrate a clear correlation between the interpenetration length and the amount of trapped solvent.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3166885
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