Hydroxyl-terminated P(S-r-MMA) random copolymers with molecular weight ranging from 1.7 to 69 kg/mol and a styrene unit fraction of 61% were grafted onto a silicon oxide surface and subsequently used to study the orientation of domains with respect to the substrate, in cylinder-forming PS-b-PMMA block copolymer thin films. When the thickness (H) of the grafted layer is greater than 5−6 nm, a perpendicular orientation is always observed because of the efficient decoupling of the BCP film from the polar SiO2 surface. Conversely, if H is less than 5 nm, the critical thickness of the grafted layer, which allows the neutralization of the substrate and promotion of the perpendicular orientation of the nanodomains in the BCP film, is found to depend on the Mn of the RCP. In particular, when Mn = 1700, a 2.0 nm thick grafted layer is sufficient to promote the perpendicular orientation of the PMMA cylinders in the PS-b-PMMA BCP film.

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