Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > NIST Team Develops Novel Method for Nanostructured Polymer Thin Films

Abstract:
All researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) wanted was a simple, quick method for making thin films of block copolymers or BCPs (chemically distinct polymers linked together) in order to have decent samples for taking measurements important to the microelectronics industry. What they got for their efforts, as detailed in the Sept. 12, 2007, Nano Letters,* was an unexpected bonus: a unique annealing process that may make practical the use of BCP thin films for patterning nanoscale features in next-generation microchips and data storage devices.

NIST Team Develops Novel Method for Nanostructured Polymer Thin Films

GAITHERSBURG, MD | Posted on September 14th, 2007

BCP thin films have been highly desired by semiconductor manufacturers as patterns for laying down very fine features on microchips, such as arrays of tightly spaced, nanoscale lines. Annealing certain BCP films—a controlled heating process—causes one of the two polymer components to segregate into regular patterns of nanocylinder lines separated by distances as small as five nanometers or equally regular arrays of nanoscale dots. Chemically removing the other polymer leaves the pattern behind as a template for building structures on the microchip.

In traditional oven annealing the quality of the films is still insufficient even after days of annealing. A process called hot zone annealing—where the thin film moves at an extremely slow speed through a heated region that temporarily raises its temperature to a point just above that at which the cylinders become disordered—has previously been used for creating highly ordered BCP thin films with a minimum of defects but little orientation control. For some polymer combinations, the order-disorder transition temperature is so high that it is virtually impossible for manufacturers to heat them sufficiently without degradation occurring.

To eliminate the time and temperature restraints without losing the order yielded by hot zone annealing, the NIST researchers developed a "cold zone" annealing system where the polymers are completely processed well below their order-disorder transition temperature. Properly controlled, the lower-temperature processing not only works with BCPs for which hot-zone annealing is impractical, but, as the NIST experiments showed, also repeatedly produces a highly ordered thin film in a matter of minutes. NIST researchers also discovered that the alignment of the cylinders was controlled by the "cold zone" annealing conditions. Because it is simple, yields consistent product quality and has virtually no limitations on sample dimensions, the NIST method is being evaluated by microelectronic companies to fabricate highly ordered sub 30 nm features.

The next step, the NIST researchers say, is to better understand the fundamental processes that make the cold zone annealing system work so well and refine the measurements needed to evaluate its performance.

* B.C. Berry, A.W. Bosse, J.F. Douglas, R.L. Jones and A. Karim.Orientational order in block copolymer films zone annealed below the order-disorder transition temperature. Nano Letters, Vol. 7, No. 9, pp. 2789-2794, (Sept. 12, 2007).

####

About NST
From automated teller machines and atomic clocks to mammograms and semiconductors, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael E. Newman

(301) 975-3025

Copyright © NIST

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Chip Technology

New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers June 28th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

Particle zoo in a quantum computer: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena June 23rd, 2016

Memory Technology

Ensuring the future affordability of wind turbines, computers and electric cars June 2nd, 2016

Automating DNA origami opens door to many new uses: Like 3-D printing did for larger objects, method makes it easy to build nanoparticles out of DNA May 30th, 2016

Hybrid nanoantennas -- next-generation platform for ultradense data recording April 28th, 2016

Magnetic vortices defy temperature fluctuations: Common magnetic mineral is reliable witness to Earth's history April 19th, 2016

Discoveries

Texas A&M Chemist Says Trapped Electrons To Blame For Lack Of Battery Efficiency: Forget mousetraps — today’s scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery June 28th, 2016

Building a smart cardiac patch: 'Bionic' cardiac patch could one day monitor and respond to cardiac problems June 28th, 2016

New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers June 28th, 2016

Yale researchers’ technology turns wasted heat into power June 27th, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Superheroes are real: Ultrasensitive nonlinear metamaterials for data transfer June 25th, 2016

Coexistence of superconductivity and charge density waves observed June 23rd, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

Announcements

Oxford Instruments and Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory collaborate to develop HTS magnet technology components for high field superconducting magnet systems June 29th, 2016

Texas A&M Chemist Says Trapped Electrons To Blame For Lack Of Battery Efficiency: Forget mousetraps — today’s scientists will get the cheese if they manage to build a better battery June 28th, 2016

Building a smart cardiac patch: 'Bionic' cardiac patch could one day monitor and respond to cardiac problems June 28th, 2016

New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers June 28th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic