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J Phys Chem B. 2012 Dec 13;116(49):14487-93. doi: 10.1021/jp307403w. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Slow single-molecule diffusion in liquid crystals.

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Molecular Nanophotonics, Institute of Experimental Physics I, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


We report on measurements of single-molecule Brownian motion in liquid crystals, unravelling the anisotropic mobility of individual dye molecules. This anisotropic Brownian motion is directly correlated with the structural properties in a smectic A (8CB) and a nematic (5CB) liquid crystal sample cell on the micrometer scale using polarization contrast microscopy. A considerably slower mobility of dye molecules is found as compared to self-diffusion measurements by NMR, while anisotropy values compare well to recent literature data. This is suggested to be related to local distortions of the director structure around the dye molecules.

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