Nature Communications

Enabling complex nanoscale pattern customization using directed self-assembly

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Block copolymer directed self-assembly is an attractive method to fabricate highly uniform nanoscale features for various technological applications, but the dense periodicity of block copolymer features limits the complexity of the resulting patterns and their potential utility. Therefore, customizability of nanoscale patterns has been a long-standing goal for using directed self-assembly in device fabrication. Here we show that a hybrid organic/inorganic chemical pattern serves as a guiding pattern for self-assembly as well as a self-aligned mask for pattern customization through cotransfer of aligned block copolymer features and an inorganic prepattern. As informed by a phenomenological model, deliberate process engineering is implemented to maintain global alignment of block copolymer features over arbitrarily shaped, 'masking' features incorporated into the chemical patterns. These hybrid chemical patterns with embedded customization information enable deterministic, complex two-dimensional nanoscale pattern customization through directed self-assembly.