Block copolymers have been extensively studied over the last few decades because they can self-assemble into well-ordered nanoscale structures. The morphologies of block copolymers in confined geometries, however, are still not fully understood. In this work, the fabrication and morphologies of three-dimensional polystyrene- block -polydimethylsiloxane (PS- b -PDMS) nanostructures confined in the nanopores of anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates are studied. It is discovered that the block copolymers can wet the nanopores using a novel solvent-annealing-induced nanowetting in templates (SAINT) method. The unique advantage of this method is that the problem of thermal degradation can be avoided. In addition, the morphologies of PS- b -PDMS nanostructures can be controlled by changing the wetting conditions. Different solvents are used as the annealing solvent, including toluene, hexane, and a co-solvent of toluene and hexane. When the block copolymer wets the nanopores in toluene vapors, a perpendicular morphology is observed. When the block copolymer wets the nanopores in co-solvent vapors (toluene/hexane = 3:2), unusual circular and helical morphologies are obtained. These three-dimensional nanostructures can serve as naontemplates for refilling with other functional materials, such as Au, Ag, ZnO, and TiO2.
- Block copolymers
- Solvent annealing