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Visualizing the Structural Solid–Liquid Transition at Colloidal Crystal/Fluid Interfaces



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The crystal/melt interface is central to the understanding of crystal nucleation and the morphological stability of crystal growth, but it is difficult to study experimentally. Micrometer-sized stimuli-dependent colloidal particles are assembled into large crystals using temperature fields. The structure of the colloidal crystal/melt interface is imaged directly in three dimensions. Interface reconstructions allow direct connection of the structure and interface free energy.