Second-layer induced island morphologies in thin-film growth of fullerenes.
ABSTRACT Deposition of fullerenes on the CaF(2)(111) surface yields peculiar island morphologies with close similarities to previous findings for (100) surfaces of other ionic crystals. By means of noncontact atomic force microscopy we find a smooth transition from compact, triangular islands to branched hexagonal islands upon lowering the temperature. While triangular islands are two monolayers high, hexagonal islands have a base of one monolayer and exhibit a complicated structure with a second-layer outer rim and trenches oriented towards the interior. By developing a kinetic growth model we unravel the microscopic mechanisms of the structure formation.