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ICS-3 Vortrag: Prof. Dr. Samuel Sprunt
Kent State University, USA

"Utilizing synchrotron x-rays and cryo-TEM to characterize nanoscale structure in thermotropic nematics based on reduced symmetry molecules"

16 Aug 2012 11:00
Seminarraum A1-A3, Building 04.6

The study of mesophases formed from “V”, “Y”, “H” and other unusually shaped mesogens has revitalized the field of thermotropic liquid crystals. In many cases, the nematic phase exhibits nanoclustering of molecules, with the arrangement within clusters being of lower symmetry than the macroscopic nematic. The phenomenon is distinct from the fluctuating “cybotactic” groups commonly associated with nematic-smectic transitions, and may be the basis for interesting technological applications if, for instance, the clusters are polar or manage to promote biaxial bulk nematic order. We will describe recent progress towards elucidating the structure of the clusters for “V” and “Y” shaped molecules using direct imaging (cryo-TEM) and quantitative analysis of SAXS experiments conducted with synchrotron radiation.