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Ultrafast Crystallization Dynamics at an Organic–Inorganic Interface Revealed in Real Time by Grazing Incidence Fast Atom Diffraction

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journal contribution
posted on 03.02.2018, 00:00 by Anouchah Momeni, Elena M. Staicu Casagrande, Alexia Dechaux, Hocine Khemliche
The poor structural properties of organic–inorganic interfaces and their variability represent the main cause of device under-performance. Understanding and controlling the development of these properties in real time has been a difficult experimental challenge. Using a recent technique based on grazing incidence fast atom diffraction (GIFAD), we were able to directly observe during deposition structural transitions in a perylene monolayer on Ag(110). Crystallization from the liquid phase occurs into two distinct structures with drastically different dynamics. Transition to the most compact packing occurs by self-organization only after a second layer has started to build up; subsequent incorporation of molecules from second to first layer triggers an ultrafast crystallization on a macroscopic sale. The final compact crystalline structure shows a long-range order and superior stability, which opens good perspectives for producing in a controlled manner highly ordered hybrid interfaces for photovoltaics and molecular electronics.