Defect evolution in block copolymer thin films via temporal phase transitions

Tsarkova, L. and Horvat, A. and Krausch, G. and Zvelindovsky, Andrei and Sevink, G. J. A. and Magerle, R. (2006) Defect evolution in block copolymer thin films via temporal phase transitions. Langmuir, 22 (19). pp. 8089-8095. ISSN 0743-7463

Full content URL: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/la0613530

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Defect evolution in block copolymer thin films via temporal phase transitions

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Abstract

We study the details of the defect dynamics in thin films of a cylinder-forming polystyrene-block-polybutadiene (SB) diblock copolymer melt. The high temporal resolution of in-situ scanning force microscopy (SFM) uncovers elementary dynamic processes of structural rearrangements on time scales not accessible so far. Short-term interfacial undulations and the formation of transient phases (spheres, perforated lamellae, and lamellae) are observed. We demonstrate that the well-known structural defects are annihilated by short-term phase transitions into what may be considered excited states. These temporary phase transitions are reproduced in simulations based on dynamic self-consistent field theory. We discuss the role of the observed structural evolution in the context of the equilibrium phase behavior in SB thin films. © 2006 American Chemical Society.

Keywords:Block copolymers, Computer simulation, Defects, Microscopic examination, Phase transitions, Surface properties, Interfacial undulations, Scanning force microscopy, Structural evolution, Transient phases, Thin films
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F162 Polymer Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Mathematics and Physics
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ID Code:14975
Deposited On:23 Sep 2014 10:16

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