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Double Stacking Faults in Convectively Assembled Crystals of Colloidal Spheres

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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
Department of Materials Science, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia
§ Faculty of Physics, Saint-Petersburg State University, 198504 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Gatchina, 188350 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Department RRR, Faculty of Applied Sciences, TU-Delft, 2629 JB Delft, The Netherlands
# DUBBLE Beamline BM26, ESRF, 6 rue Jules Horowitz, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
ESRF, 6 rue Jules Horowitz, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected]
¶Present address: Department of Chemistry, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005
Cite this: Langmuir 2009, 25, 17, 10408–10412
Publication Date (Web):May 4, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Using microradian X-ray diffraction, we investigated the crystal structure of convectively assembled colloidal photonic crystals over macroscopic (0.5 mm) distances. Through adaptation of Wilson's theory for X-ray diffraction, we show that certain types of line defects that are often observed in scanning electron microscopy images of the surface of these crystals are actually planar defects at 70.5° angles with the substrate. The defects consist of two parallel hexagonal close-packed planes in otherwise face-centered cubic crystals. Our measurements indicate that these stacking faults cause at least 10% of stacking disorder, which has to be reduced to fabricate high-quality colloidal photonic crystals.

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    Extensive peak assignment of the X-ray diffractograms in the main text and a mathematical derivation of the modification of Wilson's theory. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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