(764f) Exploring the Limit of Self-Assembly: High-? Block Oligomers

Authors: 
Shen, Z., University of Minnesota
Barreda, L., University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Chen, Q., University of Minnesota
Hillmyer, M. A., University of Minnesota
Lodge, T. P., University of Minnesota
Siepmann, J. I., University of Minnesota
Block polymer-based templates with strongly incompatible segments and short chain lengths have gathered much attention due to their micro-phase separations and resulting domains with extremely small feature sizes. Nanopatterning using directed self-assembly of such materials is under consideration as a cost-effective route to achieving sub-10 nm feature sizes, targeted for microelectronic devices with faster processing speed and higher storage density.1 Motivated by further miniaturization of domain size, our recent work utilizing atomistic-scale molecular dynamics simulations identified a class of amphiphilic oligomers capable of forming ordered lamellar and cylindrical morphologies with domain periods as small as 3 nm.2 We integrated theoretical and experimental work focusing on a sugar-derived amphiphile with an alkyl tail, and found a lamellar morphology induced by thermotropic self-assembly with a 3.5 nm period and 1.1 nm domains. In addition, structural details from simulations are in remarkable agreement with the experimental results.

  1. Sinturel, C.; Bates, F. S.; Hillmyer, M. A. High χ-Low N Block Polymer: How Far can We Go? ACS Macro Lett. 2015, 4, 1044−1050.
  2. Chen, Q. P.; Barreda, L.; Oquendo, L. E.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Lodge, T. P.; Siepmann. J. I. Computational Design of High-χ Block Oligomers for Accessing 1 nm Domains. ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 4351–4361.