Nucleation and growth of copper phthalocyanine aggregates deposited from solution on planar surfaces

Fatemeh Ghani, Hubert Gojzewski*, Hans Riegler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) dissolved in trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) is deposited on solid SiO2 surfaces by solvent evaporation. The deposited CuPc aggregates are investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The CuPc deposits were prepared by spin casting, dip coating, and spray deposition. Depending on the amount of deposited CuPc the aggregate morphology ranges from small individual domains to mesh-like multilayers. Each domain/layer consists of many parallel stacks of CuPc molecules with the square, plate-like molecules piled face-wise within each stack. The parallel stacks are attached sideways (i.e., edgewise attachment molecularly) to the substrate forming "nanoribbons" with uniform thickness of about 1 nm and varying width. The thickness reflects the length of a molecular edge, the width the number of stacks. A nucleation and growth model is presented that explains the observed aggregate and multilayer morphologies as result of the combination of nucleation, transport processes and a consequence of the anisotropic intermolecular interactions due to the shape of the CuPc molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-976
Number of pages8
JournalApplied surface science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • AFM
  • Copper phthalocyanine
  • Growth
  • Nucleation
  • Solution processing methods


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