Post-directed-self-assembly membrane fabrication for in situ analysis of block copolymer structures

J. Ren, L. E. Ocola, R. Divan, D. A. Czaplewski, T. Segal-Peretz, S. Xiong, R. J. Kline, C. G. Arges, P. F. Nealey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Full characterization of the three-dimensional structures resulting from the directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP) remains a difficult challenge. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) tomography and resonant soft x-ray scattering have emerged as powerful and complementary methods for through-film characterization; both techniques require samples to be prepared on specialized membrane substrates. Here we report a generalizable process to implement BCP DSA with density multiplication on silicon nitride membranes. A key feature of the process developed here is that it does not introduce any artefacts or damage to the polymer assemblies as DSA is performed prior to back-etched membrane formation. Because most research and applications of BCP lithography are based on silicon substrates, process variations introduced by implementing DSA on a silicon nitride/silicon stack versus silicon were identified and mitigated. Using full-wafers, membranes were fabricated with different sizes and layouts to enable both TEM and x-ray characterization. Finally, both techniques were used to characterize structures resulting from the DSA of lamella-forming BCP with density multiplication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number435303
Issue number43
StatePublished - Sep 23 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Post-directed-self-assembly membrane fabrication for in situ analysis of block copolymer structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this