Regular Article

Polymer Journal (2008) 40, 825–831; doi:10.1295/polymj.PJ2008014

Morphology Development in Asymmetric Poly(styrene-b-tert-butylacrylate) Thin Films by Solvent Annealing

Melvina Leolukman1, Young-Hye La2, Xuefa Li3 and Padma Gopalan1

  1. 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
  2. 2Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
  3. 3Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

Correspondence: Padma Gopalan, E-mail: pgopalan@wisc.edu

Received 20 January 2008; Accepted 17 May 2008; Published online 16 July 2008.

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Abstract

Morphology dependence of asymmetric poly(styrene-b-tert-butylacrylate) [P(S-b-tBA)] thin film on casting solvent, annealing solvent and annealing time was investigated. Two casting solvents, toluene and propylene glycol monomethyl ester acetate (PGMEA), and two annealing solvents, p-xylene and tert-butylacrylate (tBA), were studied. The casting solvent dominated the initial morphology. P(S-b-tBA) film cast from toluene resulted in inverted phase (PtBA cylinders in PS matrix) and the one cast from PGMEA led to normal phase (PS cylinders in PtBA matrix) morphology. The annealing solvents preference to either the majority or the minority block in combination with the annealing time controlled the orientation of the cylinders. When the annealing solvent preferentially interacted with the majority block in the as-cast film, a metastable highly ordered perpendicular cylinder morphology was trapped. The best conditions to obtain perpendicular PS cylinders were casting P(S-b-tBA) film from PGMEA and annealing in tBA vapor for 20 and 25 min on silicon and NaCl substrates respectively.

Keywords:

Solvent Annealing, Block Copolymer, Polystyrene, Poly(tert-butylacrylate)

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