Current status and future developments in preparation and application of colloidal crystals
Colloidal crystals (CCs) are ordered arrays of monodisperse colloidal particles. Because of the presence of a periodic superlattice of colloids and voids, CCs bear many unique structures and fascinating properties which are distinctly different from those of standard crystals with atoms, ions or molecules as repeating subunits. The research on CCs has surprisingly blossomed during recent decades, and many practical materials based on CCs with potential applications in photonic devices, material science and biomedical engineering have been generated. In this review, we give a systematic, balanced and comprehensive summary of the main aspects of CCs related to their preparation and application, and propose perspectives for the future developments of CCs.