X-ray cross correlation analysis uncovers hidden local symmetries in disordered matter Academic Article uri icon

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  • We explore the different local symmetries in colloidal glasses beyond the standard pair correlation analysis. Using our newly developed X-ray cross correlation analysis (XCCA) concept together with brilliant coherent X-ray sources, we have been able to access and classify the otherwise hidden local order within disorder. The emerging local symmetries are coupled to distinct momentum transfer ( Q ) values, which do not coincide with the maxima of the amorphous structure factor. Four-, 6-, 10- and, most prevalently, 5-fold symmetries are observed. The observation of dynamical evolution of these symmetries forms a connection to dynamical heterogeneities in glasses, which is far beyond conventional diffraction analysis. The XCCA concept opens up a fascinating view into the world of disorder and will definitely allow, with the advent of free electron X-ray lasers, an accurate and systematic experimental characterization of the structure of the liquid and glass states.


  • Wochner, Peter
  • Gutt, Christian
  • Autenrieth, Tina
  • Demmer, Thomas
  • Bugaev, Volodymyr
  • Diaz Ortiz, Alejandro
  • Duri, Agnès
  • Zontone, Federico
  • Grübel, Gerhard
  • Dosch, Helmut

publication date

  • July 14, 2009