The fault structures formed during annealing of gold particles in a fused silica matrix were examined employing transmission electron microscopy. For higher volume fractions of gold and short annealing times at 900°C particle-particle coalescence by bridge formation was observed. After longer annealing times, particles assumed a nearly spherical shape approximately 500 Å in diameter. A limited number of planar boundaries were found to have formed as the result of particle-particle coalescences and grain growth. The predominant structural configuration was a series of parallel or nonparallel planar twin boundaries within the gold particles. In the case of intersecting twins a specific planar coincidence lattice boundary was also observed. No evidence of high angle grain boundaries and dislocation structure was observed. It is believed that the various twin structures observed are metastable, with little mobility and may be used to examine mechanisms of grain boundary migration and annealing twin formation.
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