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Three-Dimensional Structure and Defects in Colloidal Photonic Crystals Revealed by Tomographic Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy

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Van ’t Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, Sorbonnelaan 16, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
§ Canadian Light Source, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N OX4, Canada
Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States
Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
# Center for Applied Geoscience, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Sigwartstrasse 10, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Cite this: Langmuir 2012, 28, 7, 3614–3620
Publication Date (Web):January 19, 2012
https://doi.org/10.1021/la204580y
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Self-assembled colloidal crystals have attracted major attention because of their potential as low-cost three-dimensional (3D) photonic crystals. Although a high degree of perfection is crucial for the properties of these materials, little is known about their exact structure and internal defects. In this study, we use tomographic scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) to access the internal structure of self-assembled colloidal photonic crystals with high spatial resolution in three dimensions for the first time. The positions of individual particles of 236 nm in diameter are identified in three dimensions, and the local crystal structure is revealed. Through image analysis, structural defects, such as vacancies and stacking faults, are identified. Tomographic STXM is shown to be an attractive and complementary imaging tool for photonic materials and other strongly absorbing or scattering materials that cannot be characterized by either transmission or scanning electron microscopy or optical nanoscopy.

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    Tomographic slice showing a disordered layer of colloids and SEM image indicating that this is located at the back of the substrate; calculated transmission spectra of several inorganic materials; and movie containing the full data set used for tomographic reconstruction. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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    20. Ronald A. Cohen. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Attention. 2014, 779-828. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-72639-7_25
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