Chemistry of Materials

Biomimetic approaches for fabricating high-density nanopatterned arrays

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A variety of alternative approaches to lithography have been investigated to address the many challenges currently associated with scaling of feature sizes. One of the more cost-effective techniques has been to use the intrinsic self-assemblying properties of AB diblock copolymers to make polymer thin films as nanometer etch masks. A more etch-resistant film can be fabricated through enrichment of domains within the block copolymer thin films with metals such as silicon. In contrast to previous methods for mineralizing polymer thin films, we demonstrate here a biomimetic approach for synthesizing two-dimensional silica nanopatterns at neutral pH and mild temperatures within polystyrene-b-poly-4- vinylpyridine thin films. We further show that one can employ these benign synthetic conditions to fabricate sub-20 nm features of phase change materials (PCM) while keeping the PCM film in its amorphous state in order to study the effect that scaling these materials has on their crystallization temperatures. © 2007 American Chemical Society.