The results of an ultrasmall angle X ray scattering study of iron(III) oxide inverse opal thin films are presented. The photonic crystals examined are shown to have fcc structure with amount of stacking faults varying among the samples. The method used in this study makes it possible to easily distinguish between samples with predominantly twinned fcc structure and nearly perfect fcc stacking. The difference observed between samples fabricated under identical conditions is attributed to random layer stacking in the self assembled colloidal crystals used as templates for fabricating the inverse opals. The present method provides a versatile tool for analyzing photonic crystal structure in studies of inverse opals made of various materials, colloidal crystals, and three dimensional photonic crystals of other types
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