Spontaneous planarization of nanoscale phase separated thin film


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AIP Publishing


Structure of complex fluid at mesoscales is influenced by interfacial effects. We describe the dynamic response in such films to sudden change in interfacial tension. In a self-assembled block copolymer film, the monolayer of 15 nm diam cylindrical discrete phases close to the surface commence to sink at an average rate of 0.16 nm/day in response to the interfacial tension change. Surprisingly, this spontaneous planarization occurs, even though the cylinders are covalently stitched to the matrix. A simple model explains the observed behavior. The observation may lead to approaches to tailor the structure of mesoscale thin films of complex fluids for long-range order that are desirable for nanoscale device fabrication. (C) 2002 American Institute of Physics.



Liquid crystals, Polyimide, Surfaces, Nanostructures, Morphology, Copolymers, Physics


Saraf, RF; Niu, S; Stumb, E, "Spontaneous planarization of nanoscale phase separated thin film," Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 4425 (2002); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1481187