Disorder diffuse scattering from quasicrystals
Phase Transitions 67(1): 319-361
Very sharp Bragg reflections accompanied by diffuse scattering phenomena are typical for most stable quasicrystals. The correlation length of the quasiperiodic average structure can reach several micrometers as proved by high-resolution X-ray diffraction experiments. This corresponds to a structural perfection of some quasicrystals similar to that of silicon. Nevertheless, the omnipresent diffuse scattering indicates significant deviations from a strictly ordered quasiperiodic structure especially in the case of decagonal phases. These structural deviations may be caused by phason fluctuations, by disorder in the packing of the basic atomic clusters, by the formation of nanodomains, by chemical disorder, or by superstructure formation on a short-range scale. Characteristic examples of different types of structural disorder present in icosahedral and decagonal quasicrystals are reported. The diffuse scattering phenomena in decagonal Al-Co-Ni as a function of composition and temperature are discussed in more detail.