The hard-sphere disorder–order transition serves as the paradigm for crystallization. We used timeresolved Bragg light scattering from the close–packed planes to measure the kinetics of nucleation and growth of colloidal hard–sphere crystals. The effects of gravity are revealed by comparison of the experiments in microgravity and normal gravity. Crystallites grow faster and larger in microgravity, and the coarsening between crystallites is suppressed by gravity. The face–centered–cubic structure was strongly indicated as being the stable structure for hard–sphere crystals. For a sample with a volume fraction of 0.552, the classic nucleation and growth picture is followed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering