Exploring the 3D structure and defects of a self-assembled gold mesocrystal by coherent X-ray diffraction imaging

Jerome Carnis, Felizitas Kirner, Dmitry Lapkin, Sebastian Sturm, Young Yong Kim, Igor A. Baburin, Ruslan Khubbutdinov, Alexandr Ignatenko, Ekaterina Iashina, Alexander Mistonov, Tristan Steegemans, Thomas Wieck, Thomas Gemming, Axel Lubk, Sergey Lazarev, Michael Sprung, Ivan A. Vartanyants, Elena V. Sturm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mesocrystals are nanostructured materials consisting of individual nanocrystals having a preferred crystallographic orientation. On mesoscopic length scales, the properties of mesocrystals are strongly affected by structural heterogeneity. Here, we report the detailed structural characterization of a faceted mesocrystal grain self-assembled from 60 nm sized gold nanocubes. Using coherent X-ray diffraction imaging, we determined the structure of the mesocrystal with the resolution sufficient to resolve each gold nanoparticle. The reconstructed electron density of the gold mesocrystal reveals its intrinsic structural heterogeneity, including local deviations of lattice parameters, and the presence of internal defects. The strain distribution shows that the average superlattice obtained by angular X-ray cross-correlation analysis and the real, "multidomain"structure of a mesocrystal are very close to each other, with a deviation less than 10%. These results will provide an important impact to understanding the fundamental principles of structuring and self-assembly including ensuing properties of mesocrystals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10425-10435
Number of pages11
Issue number23
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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