Emergent symmetries in block copolymer epitaxy
Author(s)Ding, Yi; Gadelrab, Karim R; Mizrahi Rodriguez, Katherine; Huang, Hejin; Ross, Caroline A; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; ... Show more Show less
MetadataShow full item record
© 2019, The Author(s). The directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) has shown promise in fabricating customized two-dimensional (2D) geometries at the nano- and meso-scale. Here, we discover spontaneous symmetry breaking and superlattice formation in DSA of BCP. We observe the emergence of low symmetry phases in high symmetry templates for BCPs that would otherwise not exhibit these phases in the bulk or thin films. The emergence phenomena are found to be a general behavior of BCP in various template layouts with square local geometry, such as 44 and 32434 Archimedean tilings and octagonal quasicrystals. To elucidate the origin of this phenomenon and confirm the stability of the emergent phases, we implement self-consistent field theory (SCFT) simulations and a strong-stretching theory (SST)-based analytical model. Our work demonstrates an emergent behavior of soft matter and draws an intriguing connection between 2-dimensional soft matter self-assembly at the mesoscale and inorganic epitaxy at the atomic scale.
Springer Science and Business Media LLC