Navigation Links
Fabrication method can affect the use of block copolymer thin films

A new study by a team including scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) indicates that thin polymer films can have different properties depending on the method by which they are made. The results* suggest that deeper work is necessary to explore the best way of creating these films, which are used in applications ranging from high-tech mirrors to computer memory devices.

Thin films spread atop a surface have many applications in industry. Inexpensive organic solar cells might be made of such films, to name one potential use. Typically they're made by dissolving the polymer, and then spreading a small amount of the liquid out on a surface, called a substrate. The solution becomes a film as the solvent dries and the remainder solidifies. But as this happens, stresses develop within the film that can affect its structure.

Manufacturers would like to know more about how to control these stresses to ensure the film does what they want. But scientists who study film formation often use a different method of casting films than a manufacturer would. One method used in industry is "flow coating"similar to spreading frosting across a cake. Another method is "spin casting"placing a drop of liquid on a substrate that spins rapidly and spreads the droplet out evenly by centrifugal force. Both methods create smooth films generally, but the team decided to examine whether the two methods create different effects in finished films consisting of a self-assembling block copolymer.

"It's an important question because some proposed applications intend to take advantage of these effects," Douglas says.

The team's comparison led to results that surprised them. Although the rapid spinning of spin casting is very dynamic, suggesting it would convey more stress to the resulting film, it actually led to fewer residual stresses than flow coating did. As previous studies have shown that leftover solvent can lead to stresses in the film, the team's new theory is that because the solvent evaporates from the developing film more slowly in flow coating, this solvent discourages the film solids from arranging themselves into the equilibrium structure.

For one example, the practical benefits of this understanding could help manufacturers who propose making computer memory devices from thin films in which the solids arrange themselves as tiny cylinders in the film. Such devices would require the cylinders to stand on end, not lay down flat.

"We find we can get them to stand up much more easily with one casting method than another," Douglas says. "If we can get better results simply by varying the mode of film casting, we need to explore more deeply what happens when you make films by different methods."


Contact: Chad Boutin
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology technology :

1. Graphene films clear major fabrication hurdle
2. New graphene fabrication method uses silicon carbide templates to create desired growth
3. UCLA team reports scalable fabrication of self-aligned graphene transistors, circuits
4. Heated AFM tip allows direct fabrication of ferroelectric nanostructures on plastic
5. RapidX250 Rapid Prototype Tool for Micro Fabrication of Microfluidics, MEMs and Medical Devices
6. Microfabrication breakthrough could set piezoelectric material applications in motion
7. PerkinElmer Expertise and Solutions Integral to Food Safety Monitoring for the Beijing Games : Methods, Applications Expertise and Instrumentation Deployed in Mobile Laboratory
8. UC Riverside researcher develops novel method to grow human embryonic stem cells
9. SpectraScience Awarded Patent for Its Optical Biopsy System and Methods for Tissue Diagnosis
10. Waters Publishes Rapid and Specific Method of Detection for Melamine in Infant Formula and Liquid Milk, in Support of Chinas Ministry of Science and Technology
11. Stretching silicon: A new method to measure how strain affects semiconductors
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fabrication method can affect the use of block copolymer thin films
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's ... of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... BOSTON , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo ... biology to industrial engineering, was today awarded as ... a selection of the world,s most innovative companies. ... at scale for the real world in the ... organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers ... the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of ... beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading manufacturers ... Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high quality ... list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole Foods, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San ... relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature ... This collaboration will result in greater convenience for ... union, while maintaining existing document workflow and compliance ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):