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High quality sub-10 nm graphene nanoribbons by on-chip PS-b-PDMS block copolymer lithography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66711-66717
Number of pages7
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number82
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A block copolymer self-assembly holds great promise as a rapid, cheap and scalable approach to nanolithography. We present a straightforward method for fabrication of sub-10 nm line patterns from a lamellar polystyrene-b-polydimethylsiloxane (SD) block copolymer with a total average molecular weight of 10.5 kg mol-1. Thin SD films directly spin cast onto silicon substrates and on graphene, form regular line patterns of sub-10 nm pitch on the substrates after a few minutes of annealing at 45 °C in the presence of toluene vapour. Perfect pattern alignment was achieved by confining the films inside the trenches of graphoepitaxial substrates. The SD template was furthermore used as a lithographic mask to fabricate high-quality sub-10 nm graphene nanoribbons. This was realized by one step oxygen plasma treatment, which accomplishes three tasks: hardening the PDMS block by oxidation, and etching both the PS block and the graphene under PS. Raman analysis supports the formation of graphene nanoribbons with an average distance between defects corresponding to the oxidized PDMS pitch, with no sign of defects generated in the ribbon channel. This suggests a high degree of protection of the nanoribbons by the hard oxidized PDMS mask formed in situ during oxygen plasma etching.