ACS Publications. Most Trusted. Most Cited. Most Read
My Activity

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

View Author Information
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
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society

    Article Views





    Other access options
    Supporting Info (2)»


    Abstract Image

    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.

    Read this article

    To access this article, please review the available access options below.

    Get instant access

    Purchase Access

    Read this article for 48 hours. Check out below using your ACS ID or as a guest.


    Access through Your Institution

    You may have access to this article through your institution.

    Your institution does not have access to this content. You can change your affiliated institution below.

    Supporting Information

    Jump To

    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

    Terms & Conditions

    Most electronic Supporting Information files are available without a subscription to ACS Web Editions. Such files may be downloaded by article for research use (if there is a public use license linked to the relevant article, that license may permit other uses). Permission may be obtained from ACS for other uses through requests via the RightsLink permission system:

    Cited By

    This article is cited by 26 publications.

    1. Pratibha Mahale, Byeongdu Lee, Hiu Yan Cheng, Mo Segad, Thomas E. Mallouk. Small-Angle X-ray Scattering Analysis of Colloidal Crystals and Replica Materials Made from l-Arginine-Stabilized Silica Nanoparticles. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2022, 14 (7) , 9398-9407.
    2. Laurinda R. P. Areias, Inês Mariz, Ermelinda Maçôas, José Paulo S. Farinha. Reflectance Confocal Microscopy: A Powerful Tool for Large Scale Characterization of Ordered/Disordered Morphology in Colloidal Photonic Structures. ACS Nano 2021, 15 (7) , 11779-11788.
    3. Elizabeth Elacqua, Xiaolong Zheng, and Marcus Weck . Light-Mediated Reversible Assembly of Polymeric Colloids. ACS Macro Letters 2017, 6 (10) , 1060-1065.
    4. R. Dario Arrua, Adam P. Hitchcock, Wei Boon Hon, Marcia West, and Emily F. Hilder . Characterization of Polymer Monoliths Containing Embedded Nanoparticles by Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM). Analytical Chemistry 2014, 86 (6) , 2876-2881.
    5. Yudi Guo, Dongyan Tang, Yunchen Du, and Binbin Liu . Controlled Fabrication of Hexagonally Close-Packed Langmuir–Blodgett Silica Particulate Monolayers from Binary Surfactant and Solvent Systems. Langmuir 2013, 29 (9) , 2849-2858.
    6. Heloisa G. Campos, Kaline P. Furlan, Daniel E. Garcia, Robert Blick, Robert Zierold, Manfred Eich, Dachamir Hotza, Rolf Janssen. Effects of processing parameters on 3D structural ordering and optical properties of inverse opal photonic crystals produced by atomic layer deposition. International Journal of Ceramic Engineering & Science 2019, 1 (2) , 68-76.
    7. Jessi E. S. van der Hoeven, Ernest B. van der Wee, D. A. Matthijs de Winter, Michiel Hermes, Yang Liu, Jantina Fokkema, Maarten Bransen, Marijn A. van Huis, Hans C. Gerritsen, Petra E. de Jongh, Alfons van Blaaderen. Bridging the gap: 3D real-space characterization of colloidal assemblies via FIB-SEM tomography. Nanoscale 2019, 11 (12) , 5304-5316.
    8. Alvin T. L. Tan, Justin Beroz, Mathias Kolle, A. John Hart. Direct‐Write Freeform Colloidal Assembly. Advanced Materials 2018, 30 (44)
    9. Sergey Lazarev, Ilya Besedin, Alexey V. Zozulya, Janne‐Mieke Meijer, Dmitry Dzhigaev, Oleg Yu. Gorobtsov, Ruslan P. Kurta, Max Rose, Anatoly G. Shabalin, Elena A. Sulyanova, IvanA. Zaluzhnyy, Alexey P. Menushenkov, Michael Sprung, Andrei V. Petukhov, Ivan A. Vartanyants. Ptychographic X‐Ray Imaging of Colloidal Crystals. Small 2018, 14 (3)
    10. Hyun Woo Nho, Tae Hyun Yoon. Structural colour of unary and binary colloidal crystals probed by scanning transmission X-ray microscopy and optical microscopy. Scientific Reports 2017, 7 (1)
    11. Valentin V. Lider. X-ray microscopy. Uspekhi Fizicheskih Nauk 2017, 187 (2) , 201-219.
    12. A. G. Shabalin, J.-M. Meijer, R. Dronyak, O. M. Yefanov, A. Singer, R. P. Kurta, U. Lorenz, O. Y. Gorobtsov, D. Dzhigaev, S. Kalbfleisch, J. Gulden, A. V. Zozulya, M. Sprung, A. V. Petukhov, I. A. Vartanyants. Revealing Three-Dimensional Structure of an Individual Colloidal Crystal Grain by Coherent X-Ray Diffractive Imaging. Physical Review Letters 2016, 117 (13)
    13. Hyun Woo Nho, Yogesh Kalegowda, Hyun-Joon Shin, Tae Hyun Yoon. Nanoscale characterization of local structures and defects in photonic crystals using synchrotron-based transmission soft X-ray microscopy. Scientific Reports 2016, 6 (1)
    14. Gregor Schmid, Martin Obst, Juan Wu, Adam Hitchcock. 3D Chemical Imaging of Nanoscale Biological, Environmental, and Synthetic Materials by Soft X-Ray STXM Spectrotomography. 2016, 43-94.
    15. A. P. Hitchcock, V. Lee, J. Wu, M. M. West, G. Cooper, V. Berejnov, T. Soboleva, D. Susac, J. Stumper. Characterizing automotive fuel cell materials by soft x-ray scanning transmission x-ray microscopy. 2016, 020012.
    16. Janne-Mieke Meijer. General Introduction. 2015, 1-21.
    17. Janne-Mieke Meijer. Preparation and Characterization of Colloidal Crystals for Synchrotron and Free Electron Laser X-ray Studies. 2015, 25-39.
    18. J.-M. Meijer, A. Shabalin, R. Dronyak, O. M. Yefanov, A. Singer, R. P. Kurta, U. Lorenz, O. Gorobstov, D. Dzhigaev, J. Gulden, D. V. Byelov, A. V. Zozulya, M. Sprung, I. A. Vartanyants, A. V. Petukhov. Double hexagonal close-packed structure revealed in a single colloidal crystal grain by Bragg rod analysis. Journal of Applied Crystallography 2014, 47 (4) , 1199-1204.
    19. Bo-Han Huang, Chun-Chieh Wang, Chen-Hong Liao, Pu-Wei Wu, Yen-Fang Song. Structural characterization of colloidal crystals and inverse opals using transmission X-ray microscopy. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2014, 426 , 199-205.
    20. Ronald A. Cohen. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Attention. 2014, 779-828.
    21. Martin Obst, Gregor Schmid. 3D Chemical Mapping: Application of Scanning Transmission (Soft) X-ray Microscopy (STXM) in Combination with Angle-Scan Tomography in Bio-, Geo-, and Environmental Sciences. 2014, 757-781.
    22. Ji San Lee, Byung Mook Weon, Jung Ho Je. X-ray phase-contrast imaging of dynamics of complex fluids. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 2013, 46 (49) , 494006.
    23. Luis R. Aramburo, Yijin Liu, Tolek Tyliszczak, Frank M. F. de Groot, Joy C. Andrews, Bert M. Weckhuysen. 3D Nanoscale Chemical Imaging of the Distribution of Aluminum Coordination Environments in Zeolites with Soft X‐Ray Microscopy. ChemPhysChem 2013, 14 (3) , 496-499.
    24. Alexandros Askounis, Khellil Sefiane, Vasileios Koutsos, Martin E. R. Shanahan. Structural transitions in a ring stain created at the contact line of evaporating nanosuspension sessile drops. Physical Review E 2013, 87 (1)
    25. Byung Mook Weon, Ji San Lee, Ji Tae Kim, Jaeyeon Pyo, Jung Ho Je. Colloidal wettability probed with X-ray microscopy. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 2012, 17 (6) , 388-395.
    26. Wei Chen, Maxim P. Nikiforov, Seth B. Darling. Morphology characterization in organic and hybrid solar cells. Energy & Environmental Science 2012, 5 (8) , 8045.

    Pair your accounts.

    Export articles to Mendeley

    Get article recommendations from ACS based on references in your Mendeley library.

    Pair your accounts.

    Export articles to Mendeley

    Get article recommendations from ACS based on references in your Mendeley library.

    You’ve supercharged your research process with ACS and Mendeley!

    STEP 1:
    Click to create an ACS ID

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Your Mendeley pairing has expired. Please reconnect