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Title :  Orientation of Liquid Crystal Phases under Topographic Control 




The aggregation of individual molecules into a final desired structure via self-assembly is one of the most exciting

interdisciplinary research areas in condensed matter physics. Liquid crystal materials, which have the ability to self

-organize into ordered structures, represent an extremely versatile class of materials for potential applications such

as optoelectronic devices, and nano- , and micro-sized patterned templates. Because the control of liquid crystal

phases is required for applications, the topographic patterning of surfaces by lithography and nano-imprinting has

emerged as a powerful tool for producing single domains of liquid crystals and other soft materials. 

Here, the use of surface topography is extended to the organization of rod-type and bent-core molecules exhibit rich

and exciting morphologies but have proven to very difficult to align. Growth under conditions of confinement in rectangular

topographic channels is found to produce completely new growth morphology, generating highly ordered focal conic

defects and an exotic array of twisted filaments that are influenced very little by classic alignment methods.

The resulting macroscopic order will be of great use in further exploration of the physical properties of various liquid

crystal phases, and offers a route for application of difficult to align soft materials as are encountered in organic electronic

and optical applications.



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