• colloidal crystals;
  • small-angle X-ray scattering;
  • thermal treatment

The structural evolution of colloidal crystals made of polystyrene hard spheres has been studied in situ upon incremental heating of a crystal in a temperature range below and above the glass transition temperature of polystyrene. Thin films of colloidal crystals having different particle sizes were studied in transmission geometry using a high-resolution small-angle X-ray scattering setup at the P10 Coherence Beamline of the PETRA III synchrotron facility. The transformation of colloidal crystals to a melted state has been observed in a narrow temperature interval of less than 10 K.