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A transmission electron microscopy study of polymer-stabilised liquid crystal structure

Brittin, M., Mitchell, G.R. and Vaughan, A.S. (2001) A transmission electron microscopy study of polymer-stabilised liquid crystal structure. Journal of Materials Science, 36 (20). pp. 4911-4920. ISSN 1573-4803

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1023/A:1011888304134


A method has been established for observing the internal structure of the network component of polymer-stabilised liquid crystals. In situ photopolymerisation of a mesogenic diacrylate monomer using ultraviolet light leads to a sparse network (∼1 wt%) within a nematic host. Following polymerisation, the host was removed through dissolution in heptane, revealing the network. In order to observe a cross-section through the network, it was embedded in a resin and then sectioned using an ultramicrotome. However, imaging of the network was not possible due to poor contrast. To improve this, several reagents were used for network staining, but only one was successful: bromine. The use of a Melinex-resin composite for sectioning was also found to be advantageous. Imaging of the network using transmission electron microscopy revealed solid “droplets” of width 0.07–0.20 μm, possessing an open, yet homogeneous structure, with no evidence for any large-scale internal structures.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > Electron Microscopy Laboratory (CAF)
ID Code:26770

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