A Photochemical Approach to Directing Flow and Stabilizing Topography in Polymer Films

by Joshua M. Katzenstein, Chae Bin Kim, Nathan A. Prisco, Katsumata Reika, Zhenpeng Li, Dustin W. Janes, Gregory Blachut and Christopher J. Ellison

Macromolecules 2014 47 (19), 6804-6812 

Coatings and substrates with topographically patterned features will play an important role in efficient technologies for harvesting and transmitting light energy. In order to address these applications, a methodology for prescribing height profiles in polymer films is presented here. This is accomplished by photochemcially patterning a solid-state, sensitized polymer film. After heating the film above its glass transition temperature, melt-state flow is triggered and directed by the chemical pattern. A second light exposure was applied to fully activate a heat-stable photo-crosslinking additive. The features formed here are thermochemically stable and can act as an underlayer in a multilayered film. To exemplify this capability, these films were also used to direct the macroscopic film morphology of a block copolymer overlayer.

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