Ordering mechanisms in confined diblock copolymers

Yoav Tsori, David Andelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We present several ordering mechanisms in diblock copolymers. For temperatures above the order-disorder temperature and in the weak segregation regime, a linear response theory is presented which gives the polymer density in the vicinity of confining flat surfaces. The surfaces are chemically patterned where different regions attract different parts of the copolymer chain. The surface pattern or template is decomposed into its Fourier modes, and the decay of these modes is analyzed. The propagation of the surface pattern into the disordered bulk is given for several types of patterns (e.g. uniform and striped surface). It is further shown that complex morphology can be induced in a thin film even though the bulk is disordered. We next consider lamellar diblock copolymers (low temperature regime) in the presence of a striped surface. It is shown that lamellae acquire a tilt with respect to the surface, if the surface periodicity is larger than the bulk one. The lamellae close to the surface are strongly distorted from their perfect shape. When the surface and lamellar periodicities are equal, the lamellae are perpendicular to the surface. Lastly, the transition from parallel to perpendicular lamellae in a thin film is presented. The transition between the two states depends on the surface separation and strength of surface interactions. We further calculate the phase diagram in the presence of perpendicular electric field favoring perpendicular ordering. In the strong segregation limit we introduce a simple model to calculate the phase diagram of the fully parallel, fully perpendicular and mixed (parallel and perpendicular) states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalInterface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Block copolymers
  • Electric fields
  • Lamellar ordering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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