Guided Self-assembly of Block Copolymer Line Structures for Integrated Circuit Interconnects

Technology #13559

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SEM images of templated blends. (A) rectangular lattice of circular posts, (B) rectangular lattice of dash-shaped posts, (C) Dashes oriented in x- and y-directions (D) Strategic posts define meander pattern
Professor Caroline Ross
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
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Professor Karl Berggren
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
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Yeon Sik Jung
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Joel K. Yang
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
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Jack Turner
MIT Technology Licensing Officer
Patent Protection

Guided self-assembly of block copolymer line structures for integrated circuit interconnects

US Patent 8,309,278

This nanofabrication method uses electron beam lithography to patterns surfaces for rapid block copolymer assembly.


  • Integrated Circuit Fabrication
  • Biomolecule Arrays or Sensors
  • Nanowire growth
  • Graphene Patterning
  • Computational Material Development
  • Sub-wavelength photonics

Problem Addressed

Block copolymer (BCP) self assembly and electron beam lithography (EBL) are two techniques used to fabricate nanostructures. BCPs can create smaller and denser structures than can be typically achieved with standard lithographic methods, but the patterns they create are often randomly oriented and positioned. EBL can accurately design structures according to given layouts but has many steps and is consequently slow and impractical for large volume manufacturing.


The invention consists of a hybrid approach to nanopatterning which first uses the precision of electron beam lithography to define nodes as an outline to patterning and then uses self assembled block copolymers to rapidly fill in the intervening space between the nodes and hence define an overall pattern. By using electron beam lithography to only pattern the nodes - and not the entire design - there is a 30 fold increase in speed of patterning thus allowing technologies which require high resolution patterning to fabricate structures in a realistic and cost effective time. 


  • Increases throughput by having a 30 fold increase in patterning speed over that achieved by electron beam lithography alone, thus reducing the time necessary for patterning. For example conventional EBL may require an entire month to pattern a surface while the hybrid approach will have the pattern made in a day.
  • Nodal grid gives more precision to patterning than using block copolymers alone which gives better resolution to patterned structures.