Spontaneous planarization of nanoscale phase separated thin film

Ravi F. Saraf, Sanjun Niu, Eric Stumb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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