High-Resolution Imaging of the Self-Assembly of Organic Monolayers

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Science  24 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5265, pp. 1123-1124
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5265.1123


Thin films of organic molecules are useful for lubrication, as chemical sensors, and for optical applications. Controlled fabrication of these films requires an understanding of how they form on a surface. In her Perspective, Chiang discusses results by Poirier and Pylant (p. 1145) that show scanning tunneling microscope images of alkanethiol molecules on silver. The images show the details of nucleation, growth, and phase transitions of these films.