Large, defect-free FCC colloidal crystals under microgravity

arxiv(2024)

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摘要
Here we report the results of microgravity experiments performed on the International Space Station (ISS) to study crystallized, metastable colloidal liquids in the region of the hard sphere phase diagram that has been found to be glassy on Earth. Using confocal microscopy, we observed the self-assembly of high density, three-dimensional colloidal crystals from micron-size hard spheres suspended within a fluid medium. The largest face-centered cubic (FCC) phase measured 27 x 1.5 x 0.15 mm. From a practical aspect, the fact that a single, topological defect-free FCC colloidal crystal can be grown in microgravity and the crystal returned from orbit suggests new routes for manufacturing colloidal devices, particularly optical elements in space.
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