High interaction parameter block copolymers for advanced lithography
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Block copolymers demonstrate potential in next-generation lithography as a solution for overcoming the limitations of conventional lithographic techniques. Ideal block copolymer materials for this application can be synthesized on a commercial scale, have high [chi]-parameters promoting self-assembly into sub-20 nm pitch domains, have controllable alignment and orientation, and have high etch contrast between the domains for facilitating pattern transfer into the underlying substrate. Block copolymers that contain silicon in one domain are attractive for nanopatterning since they often fulfill at least three of these requirements. However, silicon-containing materials are notoriously difficult to orient in thin films due to the low surface energy of the silicon-containing block, which typically wets the free surface interface. In this work, the methodology behind material choice and the synthesis of new silicon-containing block copolymers by a variety of polymerization techniques will be described. Thin film self-assembly of the block copolymers with domains oriented perpendicular to the plane of the substrate is achieved using different solvent annealing and neutral surface treatments with thermal annealing conditions. Block copolymer patterns are transferred to the underlying substrate by reactive ion etching and directed self-assembly of the polymers is demonstrated using chemical contrast patterns. Interesting thermodynamics governing the self-assembly of block copolymers with solvent annealing will also be discussed. Finally, new amphiphilic block copolymers will be described that were created with lithographic applications in mind but that are most useful for biological applications in drug delivery.