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We report morphological investigations of polypyrrole thin films deposited by means of a self‐aligning vapor phase technique onto glass, silicon and silicon dioxide substrates, coated with an oxidizing precursor. The variation of the deposition parameters allows the control of the film microstructure which can be fibrillar and strongly anisotropic or globular and tendentially isotropic. Patterning of the precursor by electron‐beam lithography allows the production of submicron wide lines as shown by both the scanning electron microscope and the atomic force microscope. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.