Growth of C60 thin films on Al2O3/NiAl(100) at early stages

S. C. Hsu, C. H. Liao, T. C. Hung, Y. C. Wu, Y. L. Lai, Y. J. Hsu, M. F. Luo

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The growth of thin films of C60 on Al2O3/NiAl(100) at the earliest stage was studied with scanning tunneling microscopy and synchrotron-based photoelectron spectroscopy under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions. C60 molecules, deposited from the vapor onto an ordered thin film of Al2O3/NiAl(100) at 300 K, nucleated into nanoscale rectangular islands, with their longer sides parallel to direction either [010] or [001] of NiAl. The particular island shape resulted because C60 diffused rapidly, and adsorbed and nucleated preferentially on the protrusion stripes of the crystalline Al2O3 surface. The monolayer C60 film exhibited linear protrusions of height 1–3 Å due to either the structure of the underlying Al2O3 or the lattice mismatch at the boundaries of the coalescing C60 islands; such protrusions governed also the growth of the second layer. The second layer of the C60 film grew only for a C60 coverage >0.60 ML, implying a layer-by-layer growth mode, and also ripened in rectangular shapes. The thin film of C60 was thermally stable up to 400 K; above 500 K, the C60 islands dissociated and most C60 desorbed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • AlO
  • C
  • NiAl
  • PES
  • STM
  • Thin film growth


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