The fabrication of capillary cylindrical crystals from colloidal suspension with controllable thickness by evaporation-induced self-assembly method has been investigated. The thickness of the hollow cylinders can be precisely controlled ranging from monolayer to tens of layers by varying the suspension concentration. With the increase of suspension concentration, the particles fill completely inside capillaries to form solid bulk crystals and the critical values are found in capillaries with various diameters. Scanning electron microscope images confirm the face-centered-cubic structure in both crystals, but with two different  crystalline directions. The experiment parameters, such as the solvent, concentration of the suspension and inner diameter of capillary are studied for the quality and the number of film layers control. Qualitative analysis has been performed to probe into the solvent evaporation modes and the mechanism of particle arrangement inside the capillary.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61178044, 91123015), the Key Program of the Natural Science Foundation of the Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions of China (Grant No. 10KJA510024), and the Key Program of Science and Technology of Jiangsu province, China (Grant No. BE2008138).
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Guo, W., Wang, M., Xia, W. et al. Evaporation-induced self-assembly of capillary cylindrical colloidal crystal in a face-centered cubic structure with controllable thickness. Journal of Materials Research 27, 1663–1671 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2012.128