In the first part of this paper, a review is given on the mechanism for the disappearance of an intrinsic stacking fault in a hard-sphere (HS) crystal under gravity, which we recently discovered by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations [A. Mori et al., J. Chem. Phys. 124 (2006), 17450; Mol. Phys. 105 (2007), 1377]. We have observed, in the case of fee (001) stacking, that the intrinsic stacking fault running along an oblique direction shrunk through the gliding of a Shockley partial dislocation at the lower end of the stacking fault. In order to address the shortcomings and approximations of previous simulations, such as the use of periodic boundary condition (PBC) and the fact that the fee (001) stacking had been realized by the stress from the small PBC box, we present an elastic strain energy calculation for an infinite system and a MC simulation result for HSs in a pyramidal pit under gravity. In particular, the geometry of the latter has already been tested experimentally [S. Matsuo et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 82 (2003), 4283]. The advantage of using a pyramidal pit as a template as well as the feasibility of the mechanism we describe is demonstrated.
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