Traceable atomic force microscopy of high-quality solvent-free crystals of [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester

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Title: Traceable atomic force microscopy of high-quality solvent-free crystals of [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester
Author(s): Lazzerini, GM
Paterno, GM
Tregnago, G
Treat, N
Stingelin, N
Yacoot, A
Cacialli, F
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We report high-resolution, traceable atomic force microscopymeasurements of high-quality, solvent-free single crystals of [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). These were grown by drop-casting PCBM solutions onto the spectrosil substrates and by removing the residual solvent in a vacuum. A home-built atomic force microscope featuring a plane mirror differential optical interferometer, fiber-fed from a frequency-stabilized laser (emitting at 632.8 nm), was used to measure the crystals' height. The optical interferometer together with the stabilized laser provides traceability (via the laser wavelength) of the vertical measurements made with the atomic force microscope. We find that the crystals can conform to the surface topography, thanks to their height being significantly smaller compared to their lateral dimensions (namely, heights between about 50 nm and 140 nm, for the crystals analysed, vs. several tens of microns lateral dimensions). The vast majority of the crystals are flat, but an isolated, non-flat crystal provides insights into the growth mechanism and allows identification of “molecular terraces” whose height corresponds to one of the lattice constants of the single PCBM crystal (1.4 nm) as measured with X-ray diffraction.
Publication Date: 4-Feb-2016
Date of Acceptance: 18-Jan-2016
ISSN: 1077-3118
Publisher: AIP Publishing
Journal / Book Title: Applied Physics Letters
Volume: 108
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters and may be found at
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Physics, Applied
Applied Physics
09 Engineering
02 Physical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 053303
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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