Selective disordering of lamella-forming diblock copolymers under an electric field

Sevink, G. J. A. and Pinna, Marco and Langner, K. M. and Zvelindovsky, Andrei (2011) Selective disordering of lamella-forming diblock copolymers under an electric field. Soft Matter, 7 (11). pp. 5161-5170. ISSN 1744-683X

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Selective disordering of lamella-forming diblock copolymers under an electric field

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Abstract

Self-assembled block polymers show great potential to serve as templates for the fabrication of nanoscale structures for devices, provided that structural features such as defects and global orientation can be fully and efficiently controlled. The most efficient way to control these features is by application of an electric field, to orient features parallel to the electric field. Several aspects of the thermodynamic and kinetic factors that determine the reorientation dynamics have been studied in recent years and are increasingly understood. Current experiments focus on reorientation close to the order-disorder transition (ODT) temperature, where an efficient mechanism involving selective disordering is long anticipated but subject to lively debate. Here, we complement the increasing experimental understanding by a detailed and unifying computational analysis of all distinct microscopic stages in this new reorientation mechanism. The unification step originates from the comparison of two different models, one based on a molecular description and the other phenomenological. The results have a general character and may also serve as a stepping stone for understanding microscopic response pathways due to other kinds of deformation, such as mechanical stress or shear. We find that reorientation is most effective for temperatures that are slightly below ODT, at which the system is slightly demixed and the balance between surface tension and the ponderomotive force is optimal. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Keywords:Block polymer, Computational analysis, Diblock copolymer, Kinetic factors, Mechanical stress, Microscopic response, Molecular descriptions, Nanoscale structure, Ponderomotive forces, Reorientation dynamics, Self-assembled, Stepping stone, Structural feature, Block copolymers, Electric fields, Electromotive force, Stresses, Surface tension, Engineering exhibitions
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F170 Physical Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Mathematics and Physics
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ID Code:14914
Deposited On:16 Sep 2014 10:53

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