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Electric field manipulated nanopatterns in thin films of metalorganic 3-miktoarm star terpolymers

: Kathrein, C.C.; Bai, W.; Nunns, A.; Gwyther, J.; Manners, I.; Böker, A.; Tsarkova, L.; Ross, C.A.


Soft matter 12 (2016), No.21, pp.4866-4874
ISSN: 1744-683X
ISSN: 1744-6848
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

We report the effect of electric field on the morphological transitions and ordering behavior of polyferrocenylethylmethylsilane block (PFEMS)-containing copolymers. By analyzing structures in solvent-annealed films of metalorganic sphere- and cylinder-forming diblock copolymers, as well as of 3-miktoarm polyisoprene-arm-polystyrene-arm-PFEMS (3μ-ISF) terpolymers, we decouple two types of responses to the electric field: morphological transformations as a result of an increase in the volume fraction of the PFEMS block by oxidation of the ferrocenyl groups, and the orientation of the dielectric interfaces of microdomains parallel to the electric field vector. In the case of 3μ-ISF, the former effect dominates at high electric field strengths which results in an unexpected cylinder-to-sphere transition, leading to a well-ordered hexagonal dot pattern. Our results demonstrate multiple tunability of ordered microdomain morphologies, suggesting future applications in nanofabrication and surface patterning.