In situ hard X-ray microscopy of self-assembly in colloidal suspensions

D. Byelov, J.M. Meijer, I. Snigireva, A. Snigirev, L. Rossi, E. van den Pol, A. Kuijk, A.P. Philipse, A. Imhof, A. van Blaaderen, G.J. Vroege, A.V. Petukhov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


An experimental setup combining full-field transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM) and microradian X-ray diffraction (mradXRD) is tested for the in situ study of self-organization of colloidal dispersions of anisotropic particles. Averaged structural information of the samples is determined by mradXRD and local morphology is determined by TXM. Utilization of hard X-rays (12.2 keV) and the ease of switching from diffraction mode to microscopy mode makes such a setup a unique tool, especially for the study of opaque colloidal systems. We demonstrate diffraction patterns together with real space images of the following morphologies: smectic structures in the sediment of colloidal silica rods, the reorientation of a smectic phase of goethite particles in an elevated magnetic field and an interface region between isotropic and ordered phases in a dispersion of colloidal hematite cubes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15670-15677
Number of pages8
JournalRSC Advances
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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