Pseudorotational epitaxy of self-assembled octadecyltrichlorosilane monolayers on sapphire (0001)

H. G. Steinrück, A. Magerl, M. Deutsch, B. M. Ocko

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The structure of octadecyltrichlorosilane self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on sapphire (0001) was studied by Å-resolution surface-specific x-ray scattering methods. The monolayer was found to consist of three sublayers where the outermost layer corresponds to vertically oriented, closely packed alkyl tails. Laterally, the monolayer is hexagonally packed and exhibits pseudorotational epitaxy to the sapphire, manifested by a broad scattering peak at zero relative azimuthal rotation, with long powderlike tails. The lattice mismatch of ∼1%-3% to the sapphire's and the different length scale introduced by the lateral Si-O-Si bonding prohibit positional epitaxy. However, the substrate induces an intriguing increase in the crystalline coherence length of the SAM's powderlike crystallites when rotationally aligned with the sapphire's lattice. The increase correlates well with the rotational dependence of the separation of corresponding substrate-monolayer lattice sites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2014

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© 2014 American Physical Society.


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