Image icon  Nematic liquid crystalline polymer

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Description: Liquid crystalline polymers (LCPs) exhibit a mesophase above their melting temperature. In this phase, they are fluid yet they retain long-range orientational order. The self-alignment of crystallites manifests itself as patterns of optical birefringence when the liquids are viewed between crossed polars. Defects in the patterns are analogous to dislocations in crystal systems. This specimen is K24 (4-cyano-4'-8-alkylbiphenyl), which is nematic above 35 degrees C. The general gradation of colour is simply due to a wedge plate placed over the specimen.
Keywords: alignment • birefringence • disclination • liquid crystalline polymer (LCP) • polymer
Categories: Science approaches > Microstructure
Materials > Polymers & elastomers
Testing, analysis & experimentation > Metallography
Scale > Micro
Created by: Prof T W Clyne, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge
Published by: DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge
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Date created: 03 October 2002
Date added: 21 August 2009
Resource ID: 1645