Physical Review Letters

Single-nucleus polycrystallization in thin film epitaxial growth

View publication


We have observed, by use of low-energy electron microscopy, the first direct evidence of self-driven polycrystallization evolved from a single nucleus in the case of epitaxial pentacene growth on the Si(111)-H terminated surface. In this Letter we demonstrate that such polycrystallization can develop in anisotropic systems (in terms of crystal structure and/or the intermolecular interactions) when kinetic growth conditions force the alignment of the intrinsic preferential growth directions along the density gradient of diffusing molecules. This finding gives new insight into the crystallization of complex molecular systems, elucidating the importance of nanoscale control of the growth conditions. © 2007 The American Physical Society.