Herein we establish a clear relation between the parameters that govern the growth dynamics and the structural quality of colloidal crystal films. We report an optical analysis of the spatial distribution of intrinsic defects in colloidal crystal films and correlate our results with a theoretical model describing the growth dynamics of such lattices. We find that the amount of defects fluctuates periodically and decreases along the growth direction of the lattice. We demonstrate that these spatial variations are a direct consequence of the temporal oscillations of the crystal film formation velocity, which are inherent to the colloidal particle deposition process.

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