Fractal growth in organic thin films: Experiments and modeling

Gengxin Zhang, Brandon Weeks, Richard Gee, Amitesh Maiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to investigate the solidification process of the organic energetic material pentaerythritol tetranitrate thermally deposited on a silicon surface. The metastable films spontaneously undergo dendrite formation where the measured fractal dimensions indicate a diffusion-limited-aggregation mechanism. The branch growth rate was investigated as a function of temperature and fitted by a theoretical model that takes into account competing thermally activated processes of surface diffusion and molecular desorption. Consideration of the internal molecular degrees of freedom is shown to be essential for quantitative consistency between theory and experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204101
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2009


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