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Diffuse scattering, observed as intensity distribution between the Bragg peaks, is associated with deviations from the average crystal structure, generally referred to as disorder. In many cases crystal defects are seen as unwanted perturbations of the periodic structure and therefore they are often ignored. Yet, when it comes to the structure analysis of nano-volumes, what electron crystallography is designed for, the significance of defects increases. Twinning and polytypic sequences are other perturbations from ideal crystal structure that are also commonly observed in nanocrystals. Here we present an overview of defect types and review some of the most prominent studies published on the analysis of defective nanocrystalline structures by means of three-dimensional electron diffraction.

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