Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 5, September 2004
Page(s) 800 - 806
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 August 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (5), pp. 800-806 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10126-5

Pattern coarsening in a 2D hexagonal system

C. Harrison1, D. E. Angelescu1, M. Trawick1, Zhengdong Cheng1, D. A. Huse1, P. M. Chaikin1, D. A. Vega2, J. M. Sebastian2, R. A. Register2 and D. H. Adamson3

1  Department of Physics, Princeton University - Princeton, USA
2  Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, USA
3  Princeton Materials Institute, Princeton University - Princeton, USA

(Received 29 January 2004; accepted in final form 25 June 2004)

We have studied the ordering dynamics of a two-dimensional system which consists of a single layer of spherical block copolymer microdomains in a thin film. We follow the annealing process after a quench from the disordered state by electron microscopy and time-lapse atomic force microscopy. At late times the orientational correlation length $\xi_{6}$ of the microdomain lattice exhibits a t1/4 temporal power law. We compare the time evolution of the densities of dislocations, disclinations and the dislocation orientational correlation function. While most disclinations condense into dislocations and most dislocations condense into "grain boundaries", the dynamics appear to involve the interplay of disclinations and lines of dislocations. Rather than isolated grains shrinking, the most frequently observed process is the collapse of a smaller grain which resides on the boundary of two larger grains.

61.30.-v - Liquid crystals.
36.20.-r - Macromolecules and polymer molecules.

© EDP Sciences 2004