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Darkfield Microscopy Image Gallery

Quasicrystals

The photomicrograph below was taken with a Nikon Microphot FX/L reflected light microscope using the vertical illuminator and a 10x BD objective under darkfield illumination.

The quasicrystalline state was discovered in 1984 when researchers obtained electron diffraction patterns of an aluminum/manganese alloy that possessed sharp reflections and a 10-fold symmetry. Solution of the diffraction patterns revealed the presence of an icosohedral symmetry composed of a series of pentagonal and hexagonal shapes. Since then, many stable and meta-stable quasicrystals have been synthesized. These compounds fall largely into two groups: icosohedral and polygonal quasicrystals, each having perfect long-range order and no three-dimensional translational periodicity, with slightly different symmetries.

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