Dual Block Copolymer Morphologies in Ultrathin Films on Topographical Substrates: The Effect of Film Curvature

Elisheva Michman, Meirav Oded, Roy Shenhar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The ability to create mixed morphologies using easily controlled parameters is crucial for the integration of block copolymers in advanced technologies. We have previously shown that casting an ultrathin block copolymer film on a topographically patterned substrate results in different deposited thicknesses on the plateaus and in the trenches, which leads to the co-existence of two patterns. In this work, we highlight the dependence of the dual patterns on the film profile. We suggest that the steepness of the film profile formed across the plateau edge affects the nucleation of microphase-separated domains near the plateau edges, which influences the morphology that develops on the plateau regions. An analysis of the local film thicknesses in multiple samples exhibiting various combinations of plateau and trench widths for different trench depths enabled the construction of phase diagrams, which unraveled the intricate dependence of the formed patterns not only on the curvature of the film profile but also on the fraction of the film that resides in the trenches. Our analysis facilitates the prediction of the patterns that would develop in the trenches and on the plateaus for a given block copolymer film of known thickness from the dimensions of the topographic features.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2377
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • block copolymers
  • directed self-assembly
  • hierarchical structures
  • patterning
  • thin films


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