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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Effects of thermal fluctuations on directed self-assembly in cylindrical confinement
Author(s): Nabil Laachi; Tatsuhiro Iwama; Kris T. Delaney; Bongkeun Kim; Robert Bristol; David Shykind; Corey J. Weinheimer; Glenn H. Fredrickson
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Paper Abstract

We investigate the directed self-assembly (DSA) of cylinder-forming block copolymers inside cylindrical guiding templates. To complement and corroborate our experimental investigations, we use field-theoretic simulations to examine the fluctuation-induced variations in the size and position of the cylindrical microdomain that forms in the middle of the guiding hole. Our study goes beyond the usual mean-field approximation and self-consistent field theory simulations (SCFT) and incorporates the effects of thermal fluctuations in the description of the self-assembly process using complex Langevin (CL) dynamics. In addition to CL simulations, we present an efficient SCFT-based approach that can inform about the positional error of the formed cylinders. In this new scheme, an external chemical-potential field is applied to displace the inner cylinder away from its centered, lowest energy configuration. In both our experimental and modeling efforts, we focus on two wall-wetting conditions: (1) minor-block-attractive sidewalls and bottom substrates and neutral top surfaces and (2) neutral sidewalls, substrates, and top surfaces. For both cases, we explore the properties of the formed cylinders, including fluctuations in the center position and the size of the domain, for various prepattern conditions. Our results indicate robust critical dimensions (CDs) of the DSA cylinders relative to the prepattern CD, with a standard deviation <0.9  nm. Likewise, we find that the DSA cylinders are accurately registered in the center of the guiding hole, with deviations in the hole-in-hole distance on the order of ∼0.7 to 1.4 nm, translating to errors in the hole-to-hole distance of ∼1 to 2 nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 February 2015
PDF: 9 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 14(1) 013505 doi: 10.1117/1.JMM.14.1.013505
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 14, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Nabil Laachi, The Materials Research Lab. (United States)
Tatsuhiro Iwama, The Materials Research Lab. (United States)
Kris T. Delaney, The Materials Research Lab. (United States)
Bongkeun Kim, The Materials Research Lab. (United States)
Robert Bristol, Intel Corp. (United States)
David Shykind, Intel Corp. (United States)
Corey J. Weinheimer, Intel Corp. (United States)
Glenn H. Fredrickson, The Materials Research Lab. (United States)


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