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Static and Dynamic Fluorescence Imaging of Liquid Crystal Structure

Patrick Salter

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, UK

3:30 pm Wednesday, 20 October 2010,
EN101 (EN Building), Hawthorn.

A nematic liquid crystal is a complex fluid which possesses a degree of orientational order, with the local alignment characterised by a unit vector n. Interactions with surfaces and external applied fields lead to inhomogeneous liquid crystal structures: n = n(r). In response to technological demands, liquid crystal devices with increasingly complex structures are being explored and experimental techniques for three dimensional imaging of the liquid crystal alignment are required. Here, a confocal microscope is used in conjunction with an anisotropic fluorescent dye to achieve this. The fluorescence intensity as a function of the input polarisation state of the excitation beam allows determination of the local dye alignment. Additionally, a two-photon microscope with remote focusing is employed for imaging dynamic variation in the alignment.


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