Volume 59, Number 2, July 2002
|Page(s)||218 - 224|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||01 July 2002|
Ordering and director-field configuration in single droplets of liquid crystals probed by X-ray microdiffraction
Dipartimento di Fisica e Ingegneria dei
Materiali e del Territorio and INFM Università
di Ancona - Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy
2 European Synchrotron Radiation Facility - Boîte Postale 220 F-38043 Grenoble Cedex, France
Accepted: 11 April 2002
X-ray microdiffraction (μ-XRD) is used for the first time to probe the liquid crystal (LC) ordering in confined LCs. We report on the direct observation of the director field in single droplets of nematic LCs embedded in a solid polymeric matrix (polymer-dispersed LCs). The bipolar configuration is identified in droplets with radius . Both the director distribution function and the droplet order parameter are obtained from diffraction patterns and the results are in excellent agreement with theoretical calculations. This technique is unique in its application to dispersed mesophases in that it allows to probe the local (μm length scale) LC ordering. The possibility of focusing measurements on single droplets eliminates the problems connected with averaging, which are typical of other techniques. Our results prove that μ-XRD is a novel and valuable tool in the study of confined LCs and open new exciting opportunities for future investigations.
PACS: 61.30.Cz – Molecular and microscopic models and theories of liquid crystal structure / 07.85.Qe – Synchrotron radiation instrumentation / 61.10.Eq – X-ray scattering (including small-angle scattering)
© EDP Sciences, 2002
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