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Queen’s University Selects Linkam Stages

Photonics.com
Aug 2010
TADWORTH, England, Aug. 20, 2010 — For 10 years, Linkam Scientific Instruments has been used as temperature stage suppliers to Queen’s University in Canada to study the properties of ferroelectric liquid crystals.

The research program, led by Professor Robert Lemieux and his Kingston, Ontario-based team, focuses on the rational design of chiral and achiral molecular components of ferroelectric liquid crystal mixtures based on principles of self-assembly and molecular recognition.

To observe the texture changes at the SmA-SmC phase transition, the use of Linkam’s LTS-350 hot stage provides precise temperature control for the purpose of understanding the thermal properties of liquid crystals during the phase transition, which is crucial to the establishment of structure-property relationships utilized in the design of new materials with improved properties.

The LTS-350 design also makes possible the integration of thermal polarized optical microscopy with the automated liquid crystal analysis systems by LC Vision. It is used to measure the spontaneous polarization and optical tilt angle of ferroelectric SmC liquid crystals induced by a variety of chiral dopants.

Linkam develops and manufactures a range of heating and freezing stages for both OEM and end users to visualize and explore materials properties.

For more information, visit: www.linkam.co.uk 



GLOSSARY
chiral
Description of a particle that cannot be superimposed on its mirror image.
crystal
A solid with a structure that exhibits a basically symmetrical and geometrical arrangement. A crystal may already possess this structure, or it may acquire it through mechanical means. More than 50 chemical substances are important to the optical industry in crystal form. Large single crystals often are used because of their transparency in different spectral regions. However, as some single crystals are very brittle and liable to split under strain, attempts have been made to grind them very...
ferroelectric
That property of particular materials that determines that they will be polarized in one direction or the other, or reversed in direction, when a positive or negative electric field is applied, remaining so until disturbed.
liquid crystal
A type of material that possesses less geometrical regularity or order than normal solid crystals, and whose order varies in response to alterations in temperature and other quantities. Liquid crystals are characterized by phase varieties, including cholesteric, nematic and smectic. The optical properties of liquid crystals are familiar from their use in displays, known as LCDs.
polarization
With respect to light radiation, the restriction of the vibrations of the magnetic or electric field vector to a single plane. In a beam of electromagnetic radiation, the polarization direction is the direction of the electric field vector (with no distinction between positive and negative as the field oscillates back and forth). The polarization vector is always in the plane at right angles to the beam direction. Near some given stationary point in space the polarization direction in the beam...
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