3D-Structure-Forming Diblock Copolymers Under 1D Nano-Confinement
Yuhua Yin1, Christopher A. Driscoll2, Dong Meng2, and Qiang Wang2. (1) Chemcial and Biological Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, (2) Chemical and Biological Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
With the influence of surface energy, structure frustration, and confining geometry, nano-confinement of block copolymers radically changes their self-assembled structures and can be used to achieve control on both the orientation and ordering of the microdomains for targeted applications. In great contrast to the extensively studied 1D nano-confinement (thin films) of lamellae- and cylinder-forming diblock copolymers, very few theoretical and simulation studies have been reported on the thin-film morphology of diblock copolymers that form 3D structures (gyroid and spheres) in the bulk. In this work, we have performed 3D parallel self-consistent field (SCF) calculations with high accuracy to investigate such systems confined between two homogeneous and identical surfaces. Our SCF equations are solved in real space without a priori knowledge about the possible morphologies. We have systematically studied the effects of both surface preference and film thickness, and found various morphologies under the 1D nano-confinement. Our SCF calculations also reveal the formation mechanisms and stability regions of these morphologies.