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[en] The interaction of 3 keV Ar+ ions with clusters of two structural isomers of C16H10 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, namely fluoranthene and pyrene, has been studied. Following the collision with the atomic projectile, a rich molecular growth inside of the cluster is observed for both isomers. The observed growth processes include the hydrogenation of the parent molecule and the addition of CHx units. They are more important in the case of collisions with fluoranthene clusters, this can be explained by a more flexible carbon skeleton and lower reaction barriers. Moreover, the evolution of the hydrogenation with the size of the growth products gives information on the growth mechanisms. Graphical abstract: .