Direct Observation of Liquid Crystals with Scanning Probe Microscope

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Summary

・The external field response or viewing angle of liquid crystals may depend on their molecular orientation in some cases. We have applied the scanning probe microscope that has come into widespread use in recent years as a means for directly observing the molecular orientation.

Equipment:
SPI3800 available from Seiko Electronics
NANO SCOPEⅡ available from Digital Instruments

Results of observation of molecular orientation

Image of a scanning tunnel of Nematic liquid crystals

  • Octyl-cyano-biphenyl: 8CB Nematic liquid crystals were dropped on a fresh cleavage plane, and molecular orientation was directly observed.
  • As a result, a layer structure approx. 20 angstroms in width was observed, and a microstructure was noticed. From this, it is presumed that the image of the double dumbbell-type a little less than 10 angstroms in size is a molecular orbital of the phenyl ring.

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