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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 May 23;90(20):206101. Epub 2003 May 19.

Hyperthermal molecular beam deposition of highly ordered organic thin films.

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Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


We use a seeded supersonic molecular beam to control the kinetic energy of pentacene (C22H14) during deposition and growth on Ag(111). Highly ordered thin films are grown at low substrate temperatures (approximately 200 K) at kinetic energies of a few electron volts, as shown by low energy He diffraction and x-ray reflectivity spectra. In contrast, deposition of thermal molecules yields only amorphous films. Growth at room or higher temperature substrates yields films of poorer quality irrespective of the depositing beam energy. We find that after the first wetting layer is completed, a new ordered phase is formed, whose in-plane lattice spacings match one of the bulk crystal planes. The high quality of the films can be interpreted as the result of local annealing induced by the impact of the impinging high-energy molecules.

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