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Characterization of Block Copolymers Using Scanning Probe Microscopy

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Abstract:

Block copolymers have attracted lots of attention in recent years for various nanoscience and nanotechnology applications. One common technique for characterization of block copolymer thin films is scanning probe microscopy. In this paper, we provide an overview of the use of scanning probe microscopy to study phase separation in block copolymer films. The use of topography and phase-contrast modes of atomic force microscopy for characterization of block copolymers are described in detail. The dependence of the phase image on the scanning parameters (e.g., the repulsive versus attractive regimes) as well as the settings of the microscope and the height variation in the sample are also discussed.

Keywords: ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; BLOCK COPOLYMERS; DIBLOCK COPOLYMERS; PHASE CONTRAST; PHASE SEPARATION; SCANNING PROBE MICROSCOPY

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jspm.2006.001

Publication date: June 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) typically covers atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM, or SNOM) and related technologies. Since its invention in early 1980s, SPM has now been regarded as one of the major driving forces for the rapid development of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and the tool of choice in many areas of research. Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy (JSPM) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in SPM technology. JSPM offers scientists, engineers and developers timely, peer-reviewed research on SPM science and technology of the highest quality. JSPM publishes original rapid communications, full research papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews (with author's photo and biography) encompassing the fundamental and applied research on SPM in all fields of science, engineering, and medicine.
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