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Langmuir. 2013 Mar 12;29(10):3154-69. doi: 10.1021/la304679f. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Introduction to optical methods for characterizing liquid crystals at interfaces.

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1
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, United States.

Abstract

This Instructional Review describes methods and underlying principles that can be used to characterize both the orientations assumed spontaneously by liquid crystals (LCs) at interfaces and the strength with which the LCs are held in those orientations (so-called anchoring energies). The application of these methods to several different classes of LC interfaces is described, including solid and aqueous interfaces as well as planar and nonplanar interfaces (such as those that define a LC-in-water emulsion droplet). These methods, which enable fundamental studies of the ordering of LCs at polymeric, chemically functionalized, and biomolecular interfaces, are described in this Instructional Review on a level that can be easily understood by a nonexpert reader such as an undergraduate or graduate student. We focus on optical methods because they are based on instrumentation that is found widely in research and teaching laboratories.

PMID:
23347378
PMCID:
PMC3711186
DOI:
10.1021/la304679f
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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