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A paracrystal is a kind of partially disordered crystal; wherein some forms of short and medium-range order of the lattice is present, but where long-range ordering (in at least one direction) does not exist. Many real materials are best though of as paracrystals (and not perfect crystals). I.e. in real materials there is often a well-defined local packing, essentially a unit cell, but this packing does not persist indefinitely without some kind of distortion.

In scattering, paracrystal disorder leads to specific kinds of peak broadening and peak shapes.

See Also