Directed self-assembly of polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS--PMMA) during laser thermal annealing at peak temperatures of 300°C–800°C for dwells of 1–10 ms has been explored. The enhanced mobility of polymer chains at these temperatures improves registration compared with conventional thermal anneals. PS--PMMA films (forming standing lamellae) were cast on chemically patterned substrates with a copolymer neutral layer and annealed by laser and hot plate. Annealing by hot plate or multiple laser scans resulted in well-aligned features over micron length scales. By laser annealing multiple times, defectivity was reduced by . However, laser annealing for only 10 ms before performing a hot plate anneal reduced defectivity by . We believe that this reduction arises from improved interfacial alignment of the film to the template during laser annealing near the order–disorder transition.