Ex situ at. force microscopy (AFM) was used to study the growth of the self-assembled octadecylsiloxane monolayer on SiO2 at room temp. altering the immersion time of freshly oxidized Si(1 0 0) samples in a millimolar soln. of octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) in toluene with a comparatively low water content. Two types of islands differing in size have been identified, small circular islands with a diam. around 0.1 mm and larger islands with a sometimes branched shape indicative for a growth according to diffusion limited aggregation (DLA). Both islands exhibit a height close to 2.5 nm, i.e. the height of the final monolayer, suggesting a vertical orientation of the octadecylsiloxane monomers within these islands. The large islands grow in size upon increasing the immersion time maintaining a const. height. At the same time their no. decreases. A quant. anal. of the AFM images reveals two regimes: a period with nearly linear growth up to a coverage close to 0.75 ML followed by a comparatively slow satn. at higher coverages. In comparison with first-order Langmuir adsorption kinetics a substantially lower uptake in the first growth regime takes place suggesting that physisorbed species not yet grafted to the surface are removed during the cleaning and rinsing steps prior to ex situ examn.