Growing large, well-oriented colloidal crystals

Authors

  • Dr. Alfons van Blaaderen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Van't Hoff Laboratory, Debye Research Institute, Utrecht University, Postbus 80051, 3508 TB Utrecht (The Netherlands)
    2. FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Postbus 41883, 1009 DB Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
    • Van't Hoff Laboratory, Debye Research Institute, Utrecht University, Postbus 80051, 3508 TB Utrecht (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Pierre Wiltzius

    1. Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories, 700 Mountain Avenue, Murray Hill, NJ 07974 (USA)
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  • This work is part of the research program of the Foundation for Fundamental Research of Matter (FOM) with financial support of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Abstract

The ability to manipulate colloidal crystallization is a challenging task, a consequence of teh size and Brownian motion of the colloid particles. As a direct result, temperature is not a suitable experimental parameter, even though it is important for tuning molecular crystal growth. Large single colloidal crystals with well-defined crystal orientations can, however, be grown through combined use of a polymer template and gravity. This and other methods that have been employed in an attempt to control colloid crystal growth, such as use of external fields, are described.

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