Recently we have combined infrared spectroscopy and atomic resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to probe the local structure and intermolecular arrangement of molecules within thin films. IR spectroscopy provides spatially averaged information about orientation of the molecules with respect to the surface and about intermolecular arrangement within the crystallographic unit cell. STM data yields a local picture of molecular packing within the film. The requirements of an atomically flat (over distances of hundreds of angstroms) conducting substrate for the STM are fulfilled by an epitaxially grown film of gold on a cleaved mica substrate which also provides a good infrared reflective surface, enabling IR and STM measurements on identical samples. Systems investigated include Langmuir-Blodgett films of cadmium arachidate and self-assembled films of octadecyltrichlorosilane. © 1988 Springer-Verlag.