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The sensitivity of random polymer brush-lamellar polystyrene-b-polymethylmethacrylate block copolymer systems to process conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The use of random copolymer brushes (polystyrene- r-polymethylmethacrylate - PS- r-PMMA) to 'neutralise' substrate surfaces and ordain perpendicular orientation of the microphase separated lamellae in symmetric polystyrene- b-polymethylmethacrylate (PS- b-PMMA) block copolymers (BCPs) is well known. However, less well known is how the brushes interact with both the substrate and the BCP, and how this might change during thermal processing. A detailed study of changes in these films for different brush and diblock PS- b-PMMA molecular weights is reported here. In general, self-assembly and pattern formation is altered little, and a range of brush molecular weights are seen to be effective. However, on extended anneal times, the microphase separated films can undergo dimension changes and loss of order. This process is not related to any complex microphase separation dynamics but rather a degradation of methacrylate components in the film. The data suggest that care must be taken in interpretation of structural changes in these systems as being due to BCP only effects.


  • Microphase separation, Polymer brush, Polystyrene-b-polymethylmethacrylate, Polystyrene-r-polymethylmethacrylate, Surface morphology