Center Develops Directed Self Assembly of Silicon-Containing Block Copolymers

Achievement date: 

The NSF-funded Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) Engineering Research Center, headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin, developed a block copolymer (BCP) containing Silicone (Si) and incorporated it into a process involving a nanoimprinted chloroprene rubber (CR) layer to produce long-ranged parallel lines.


The directed self-assembly (DSA) of these block copolymers in nanoshape imprinting demonstrated an unprecedented patterning capability that far exceeds the resolution of both photo- and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. This likely has applications in nanotechnology that could result in lowering the cost of reducing the size of computer chips and mobile devices.


Several technologies were used in the patterning of 5 nanometer (nm) lines and spaces: annealing, a heat treatment process used mostly to increase the ductility and reduce the hardness of a material, which reduces the dislocations in its crystal structure; a topcoat strip for conductivity; and O2 plasma etching, a process that uses both chemical and physical etching.