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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Mar 31;96(12):128301. Epub 2006 Mar 28.

Ion complexation: a route to enhanced block copolymer alignment with electric fields.

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  • 1Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.


We investigate the enhanced alignment of lamellar microdomains under an electric field by addition of lithium chloride (LiCl) into polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) copolymers. A significant increase of dielectric contrast resulting from the formation of lithium-PMMA complexes markedly reduces the critical electric field strength required to overcome the preferential interactions of one block with the substrate, providing a route to achieve the complete alignment of microdomains in block copolymer thin films.

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