Spontaneous planarization of nanoscale phase separated thin film

Ravi F. Saraf, Sanjun Niu, Eric Stumb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Structure of complex fluid at mesoscales is influenced by interfacial effects. We describe the dynamic response in such films to sudden change in interfacial tension. In a self-assembled block copolymer film, the monolayer of 15 nm diam cylindrical discrete phases close to the surface commence to sink at an average rate of 0.16 nm/day in response to the interfacial tension change. Surprisingly, this spontaneous planarization occurs, even though the cylinders are covalently stitched to the matrix. A simple model explains the observed behavior. The observation may lead to approaches to tailor the structure of mesoscale thin films of complex fluids for long-range order that are desirable for nanoscale device fabrication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4425-4427
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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