Morphologies in solvent-annealed thin films of symmetric diblock copolymer

Juan Peng, Dong Ha Kim, Wolfgang Knoll, Yu Xuan, Binyao Li, Yanchun Han

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We have systematically studied the thin film morphologies of symmetric poly(styrene)-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) diblock copolymer after annealing to solvents with varying selectivity. Upon neutral solvent vapor annealing, terraced morphology is observed without any lateral structures on the surfaces. When using PS-selective solvent annealing, the film exhibits macroscopically flat with a disordered micellar structure. While PMMA-selective solvent annealing leads to the dewetting of the film with fractal-like holes, with highly ordered nanoscale depressions in the region of undewetted films. In addition, when decreasing the swelling degree of the film in the case of PMMA-selective solvent annealing, hills and valleys are observed with the coexistence of highly ordered nanoscale spheres and stripes on the surface, in contrast to the case of higher swelling degree. The differences are explained qualitatively on the basis of polymer-solvent interaction parameters of the different components.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064702
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is subsidized by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20334010, 20474065, and 50573077). The authors are also grateful to Dr. Rüdiger Berger for his helpful discussion.


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