Controlled assembly of two-dimensional colloidal crystals

Wei, Q.-H.; Cupid, D. M.; Cupid, D.M.; Wu, X. L.; Wu, X.L.
September 2000
Applied Physics Letters;9/11/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 11
Academic Journal
Under the influence of capillary forces, colloidal particles embedded in a soap film self-organize to form polycrystalline monolayers when the film is withdrawn from a concentrated suspension. Here, we show that mechanically generated capillary waves on the free surface of the bulk colloidal suspension can cause migration of grain boundaries, and under certain conditions, completely eliminate them. This dramatic effect, we call "mechanic annealing," provides a robust means of growing two-dimensional single crystals with size that has never been achieved before. The method is expected to be applicable to a variety of self-assembling systems. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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