Keith Hedlund stands in front of microscopic imageKeith Hedlund

(University of Colorado–Boulder)

Research Project Description.

Preliminary studies of the highly polar organic molecule DIO revealed a mysterious liquid crystal phase between the nematic and ferroelectric nematic phases. X-ray diffraction studies showed that this phase—dubbed the M2 phase—was both layered and highly tilted, suggesting the possibility of a new smectic phase. We report on studies of freely suspended films of this material in the M2 phase using reflected ligh microscopy and a variety of light polarizations to characterize its structure.




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