Classical X-ray crystallography relies upon crystals which are large enough that their asymmetric units can be considered to repeat indefinitely; such crystals therefore produce Bragg diffraction spots when illuminated with X-rays. Nanocrystals produce diffraction patterns similar to their larger brothers, but with distributions of intensity where one would expect to find each Bragg spot. The shape of the nanocrystal may be deduced from shape of these distributions. Phase information arises from strains within the crystals, and these strains may also be imaged.
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