Probing local order in glasses from limited-volume electron and x-ray diffraction

Amelia Liu, Rico Tabor, L Bourgeois, M D de Jonge, S. T. Mudie, T C Petersen

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7 Citations (Scopus)


It has long been recognised that spatial fluctuations in local order in disordered assemblies of particles can be probed using limited-volume diffraction measurements. These measurements have unique advantages over broad-beam diffraction experiments that isotropically average over many structural configurations and result in one-dimensional intensity curves, requiring modelling to interpret. Despite the advantages of limiting illumination to a low number of particle configurations, obtaining quantitative measurements of local order from such experiments remains a challenge. The effects on the diffraction pattern of changing the beam energy, lateral size, aberrations and coherence and the specimen thickness have only recently been clarified. We review theoretical and experimental efforts in this direction in the fields of both electron and x-ray diffraction and identify promising areas of future development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054046
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Disordered systems (experiments)
  • Structural colloidal and polymer glasses (experiments)
  • Structural glasses (experiments)

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