Center Develops Directed Self Assembly of Silicon-Containing Block Copolymers

Achievement date: 
2018
Outcome/accomplishment: 

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.

Impact/benefits: 

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.

Explanation/Background: 

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.