479821 Combining Solvent Swelling and Shear Alignment to Direct Block Polymer Thin Film Self-Assembly

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
John P. Saltwick1, Cameron K. Shelton1 and Thomas H. Epps III1,2, (1)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, (2)Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Block polymer (BP) thin films have garnered recent attention due to their ability to self-assemble into periodic arrays of nanoscale morphologies for use in emerging nanotechnology applications. Industrially-relevant BP thin film processing techniques that control self-assembly and reduce defect densities over macroscopic length scales are therefore desirable. Herein, we combine the alignment capabilities of shear forces with the plasticization effects of solvent swelling to direct nanostructure reorganization within BP thin films. From this work, we have produced ordering in a gyroid-forming triblock terpolymer using solvent vapor annealing with soft shear. Various solvent swelling conditions and setups were examined to control the morphology changes resulting from the shearing process. Additionally, we have developed a versatile technique to apply a shear force to poly(styrene-b-isoprene-b-styrene) thin films during solution casting to align cylindrical nanostructures in a one-step, continuous process. Through our work, we have gained new insights to produce well-ordered nanostructures in a variety of BP thin film systems using relatively universal annealing techniques that can be easily scaled for industrial processing.

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