Volume 72, Number 6, December 2005
|Page(s)||962 - 968|
|Section||Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||11 November 2005|
Coexistence of rhcp and fcc phases in hard-sphere colloidal crystals
Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Debye Institute Utrecht University - Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 DUBBLE CRG/ESRF, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research ESRF - BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex, France
Corresponding author: Igor.Dolbnya@diamond.ac.uk
Accepted: 13 October 2005
We present results for high-resolution small-angle single-crystal X-ray diffraction of hard-sphere silica colloidal crystals. Our results indicate that the stacking probability α of finding an fcc stacking sequence in a strongly compressed sample can only have two discrete values of either 0.5 (for rhcp) or 1 (for fcc) in contrast to previous observations on more dilute systems that metastable hard-sphere rhcp crystals may have various values of α. This suggests that, in a concentrated sample, the transition from rhcp to fcc does not go by a smooth variation of α, but through a rearrangement mechanism via melting, which leads to the formation of perfect fcc crystallites. These crystallites do not possess a single stacking fault as evidenced by the absence of twin fcc reflections.
PACS: 61.10.-i – X-ray diffraction and scattering / 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 61.72.Nn – Stacking faults and other planar or extended defects
© EDP Sciences, 2005
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